MLK Day: Collected Lessons & Activities

Looking for ideas for marking Martin Luther King Day in your classroom? Below are our lessons and activities to date on Martin Luther King, the Civil Rights Act and the March on Washington. 


Nonviolent Protest and the Beloved Community
This lesson explores how, historically and today, love combined with nonviolent action has helped people fight injustice and work towards what Dr. King referred to as “the beloved community.”
By: Marieke van Woerkom , 2017


Black History Month: Order v. Justice
This brief activity kicks off Black History Month by examining King's letter from a Birmingham jail in light of current events. 
By: Rob Lerman, 2015 


MLK Day Activity: Organizing to End Proverty, Then and Now 
This lesson focuses on a less well-known part of Martin Luther King Jr.’s legacy, but one that is extremely relevant today: the Poor People’s Campaign that Dr. King led over 40 years ago. The lesson links this campaign to current struggles to combat poverty in the US, including efforts by workers at fast food restaurants, Wal-Mart, and others to substantially increase their wages and those of millions of other Americans by raising the federal minimum wage.
By: Marieke van Woerkom, 2014

MLK Day/Inauguration Day: The Power of Alliance-Building    
Students discuss Dr. King’s views about alliance-building; consider these in light of Obama’s inauguration; learn about the alliance-building work of Ai-jen Poo, founder of Domestic Workers United; and think about things in their own lives that they might want to build alliances to change.
By: Marieke van Woerkom, 2013.

MLK Day Lesson: The Montgomery Story   
Students use a remarkable 1957 comic book to learn about the Montgomery Bus Boycott and the real nature of the civil rights movement. 
By: Marieke van Woerkom, 2012.
Honoring Dr. Martin Luther King: The Power of Nonviolent Resistance 
Through engaging activities, video, and small-group discussion, students consider the Montgomery Bus Boycott and how they might stand up against injustice in their own lives.
By: Marieke van Woerkom,  2010.
50th Anniversary: The Civil Rights Act & the Movement Behind it 
Students explore the interplay of this legislation with the Civil Rights Movement, and consider what role everyday people play in making change.
By: Mark Engler, 2014.
March on Washington: Teaching Suggestions 
We offer some helpful resources for teaching on the Civil Rights Movement's 1963 March on Washington, including links to transcripts, videos and photos.  
By: Morningside Center, 2013.