Monday, January 16, marks the day we pay tribute to one of the greatest humanitarians and activists of all time. Although many of us, of a certain age, take for granted that everyone knows about the Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr., younger people may not be as familiar.
In fact, many adults may not know many specifics about Dr. King’s life. As Selma director, Ava DuVernay told Ideas.Ted.com, “He’s a catch phrase: ‘I have a dream.’ He’s been reduced to four words. People don’t even know his regular speaking voice; they only know his speech voice. They don’t know what he sounded like in normal conversations, or that he had four kids, or that he died at age 39, or that he had no intention of being an activist in this way.”
Fortunately, there are plenty of online resources for learning more about Dr. King and the reason why he is nationally celebrated. With the assistance of Nikki Ralston of Wizer.me, a technology company for teachers, BlackEnterprise.com rounded up some of the very best online resources to learn about and celebrate the legacy of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.
Very Young Children (4-6)
Online resources present the man and his legacy in a simple and sincere manner, without upsetting violent content.
MLK – The King and his dream video (3.26 minutes).
Blogger MamaKnowsItAll has gathered wonderful age appropriate resources, including picture books, activities and downloadable workbooks.
Happy Birthday Martin Luther King Jr. by Jean Marzoflo; book.
Martin Luther King by Rosemary Bray; book.
The Story of Martin Luther King Jr. by Kid President; video.
Elementary School (6-11)
BrainPop – short animated video and online activities.
Biography article and worksheet (2-4th grade).
Junior High School (11 – 14)
The King Center Digital Archives. Explore over 1 million historical documents, letters, and photographs.
MLK Jr. biography for children. FreeSchool; video.
Stand Up by Sitting Down. An interactive history of the sit-in protests, this virtual tour lets children choose different roles and perspectives on the events that started when four college students in Greensboro, South Carolina, decided to protest segregation. 30 minutes.
Biography video series
House Bombing – 1956
The Biography site includes more videos about the major events and leaders of the civil rights movement.
High School and up (15 +)
(Biography video series is also good for high school).
MLK Biography – Full chronological biography text of King’s life and legacy; from childhood through assassination, includes 3-minute video. At the end of the article there is a collection of other short videos about MLK and other key people in the civil rights movement.
Martin Luther King’s letter from Birmingham Jail video (57:16). Actors reenact Dr. King’s imprisonment in a Birmingham jail while reciting the text of the famous letter. *Some violent content.
Eye on the Prize – Comprehensive 7 episode documentary series on the civil rights movement. Each episode 55 mins. Free documentaries.
Wizer.me. Multimedia blended worksheets include video, text and images to engage, teach and deepen learning. Click ‘use worksheet’ to register for free and send to students.
Martin Luther King’s Dream online worksheets (2-4th grade). Online worksheet begins with a video of 4th-grade students reciting King’s ‘I have a dream’ speech, then has interactive worksheet questions for children to complete. Click “use worksheet” to send to students.
For Online Homage
World Black History On Periscope Celebrate MLK DAY ON PERISCOPE Mon. Jan 18. Celebrating the 30th anniversary year of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Day as a federal holiday. Complete this sign-up form to join on Monday, January 18—MLK DAY ON PERISCOPE #MLKDAY #MLKDAYOP http://bit.ly/MLKDAYOnPeriscope.
Nikki Ralston and Janice Temple contributed to this article.