Monday, January 13, 2014

Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.

This is a unit that is so important and loved by my students! I am a creature of habit when it comes to most of my units. I teach things using the same books and the same activities. My Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. unit is one of those units. I have found that one of the best books to teach the concept and importance of Dr. King is The Crayon Box That talked.

From the inside flap of the book:
While walking through a toy store, the day before today, I overheard a crayon box with many things to say..." Once upon a time, Shane DeRolf wrote a poem. It was a deceptively simple poem, a charming little piece that celebrates the creation of harmony through diversity. The folks at the Ad Council heard it--and liked it so much that they made it the theme for their 1997 National Anti-Discrimination Campaign for Children. Following on the heels of nearly a year's worth of televised public service announcements, Random House is honored to publish the picture book, illustrated in every color in the crayon box by dazzling newcomer Michael Letzig and conveying the sublimely simple message that when we all work together, the results are much more interesting and colorful.  

My students loved this book. We talked about the diversity of us all and how in order for the classroom to be successful, we all have to work together like the crayons! We talked about how we are all unique and that we all have something important and valuable to share. The message of Dr. King runs throughout! The students then made a crayon that was unique like they are. This is on display in the hallway!

We also completed a follow me activity! The students all received a 8 x 10 piece of brown, an 8 x 10 piece of black, a 6 x 10 piece of white, a 12 x 18 piece of colored paper and a 3 x 10 piece of white paper. The students then followed my steps and directions. They did not draw anything first. They listened and followed me. Here are the directions:
1. Pick up the 8 x 10 piece of black paper and hold it tall like a tree.
2. Cutting from one corner to another, make a hill. This is his body. 
3. Glue the black hill onto the colored piece of paper at the bottom. Make sure this paper is tall like a tree.
4. Hold the piece of 6 x 10 white paper in hand. Cut into a triangle and glue to the top of the black hill.
5. Hold the 8 x 10 piece of brown paper tall like a tree and cut an oval. This will be his head. Glue this at the top of the black hill.
6. Using the scraps from the brown paper, cut out two circles and glue them on each side of the oval. These are his ears.
7. Using the scraps from the black paper, cut a rectangle and a circle. This will make his bow tie. Glue the rectangle under the brown oval and then glue the circle in the middle of the black rectangle.
Here is what they may look like so far:

8. Hold the 3 x 10 piece of paper, long like a hotdog, and fold it in half. Holding the paper shut, cut a circle. This will make two circles of the same size. These will be his eyes. Glue them to his face.
9. Using a black crayon, color in the pupils, draw a nose, eyebrows and mustache and draw some hair. Then using a red crayon, draw his smile.

Here are the finished pictures:

What I love about this project is that the students all create a picture that is different. They are not cookie cutters. Although they have the same size paper, all of their Dr. King's are different!

Here are some of the books I read during this unit. My favorite one is My Brother Martin. It is written by his sister. I actually met her and she signed the book for me. This happened when I was teaching in Georgia! Click on the books for links to purchase them!

These are just a few books that I read. Also check out the following videos:

Happy Birthday, Dr. King!!!

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