Book Talk Thursday ~ Martin's Big Words

It’s hard to believe that Martin Luther King, Jr. Day is right around the corner, and I mean right around the corner!  This week for Book Talk Thursday, I am highlighting one of my favorite books about Dr. King.

Before I get into the book, I have a funny story.  Last year I was working with a group of sixth graders right before the Martin Luther King, Jr. holiday.  We were talking about how we didn’t have school on Monday, and here is the rest of the conversation:

Student:  Yeah, we have off for “milk day”.

Me:  Milk Day?  You mean Martin Luther King, Jr. Day.

Student:  No, “milk day”.  It says it on the calendar.  See?

{We look at the calendar.  I show him that it says “MLK, Jr. Day.”}

Student:  Oh!  I wondered why it didn’t have an “i” in it!

It’s amazing how we don’t think about those students who don’t comprehend what we think should just be known. That is where books come in and help us teach and remind students about all of those extra days we get off of school.

One book in particular comes to mind that can be powerful for students in all grades.  I used it when I taught third grade and have continued to use it throughout my teaching career.  Martin’s Big Words has a powerful message that will help students remember Dr. King as a man who helped change our world.

The book takes words from his speeches and uses them to tell the story of Dr. King.  As the words are woven through the story, children of all ages can see the importance of those words and how they relate to why we celebrate his life.

Since the book is told in chronological order, this is a great way to model making a timeline of events.  With younger students, you can show them how to create a timeline of the events of the story.  Use the big words to show those events and create a powerful picture of his life with the students.

You can then work with them to create a timeline of important events in the school year.  Brainstorm some big words to describe the year.  Use those words to highlight the events of the year and make it more meaningful for the students.

Finally, release students to create a timeline of their own lives.  Have them create big words to describe their lives and then make a timeline of the events. 

Though I personally have not conducted this lesson, I feel it is something that will help students think more clearly about taking the big picture and making it real.

So, as we approach MLK, Jr. Day (not “Milk Day”), think about how you can help your students understand the importance of why we have the day off.  Kid President can really help them understand with his own version.

Enjoy your three day weekend!  I plan to!

And don't forget to link up again this week.  Use the button below and tell us about one of your favorite books!

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  1. Love Kid President videos but this one is new to me! Thanks for sharing!

    1. Love him too! I had never seen this one, so I was excited to find it.



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