By: Holli Woodworth

Martin Luther King

Grade Level: 3rd-4th


1. Students will be able to identify contributions that Martin Luther King, Jr. made to society through research.

2. Students will write about how it felt to be discriminated against during the game.

3. Students will be able to describe something they can do to positively affect those around them by making the collage.


*Picture of Martin Luther King, Jr.

*Research materials

*Green and yellow paper circles and pins

*Butcher paper

*Art supplies


1. Brainstorm. Ask the students what they know about how African Americans have been treated throughout American History. Write their answers on the board.

2. Mini-lecture. Explain that for many years African Americans were slaves and that even after they were freed, they did not have the same rights as whites. Many people worked to get blacks equal rights. Show students a picture of Martin Luther King, Jr. Explain that Dr. King worked for civil rights, the basic rights and freedoms of citizens.

3. Group Research. Divide the students into several groups. Have each group research a specific time period in Martin Luther King's life. Such as, childhood, college, years in seminary and so on. Provide each group with books, and also have the school librarian direct the students to additional information. In the students research have them answer the following questions.

-What most impressed you about Martin Luther King, Jr.?

-What even(s) stands out in your mind?

-Do you relate to Martin Luther King, Jr.?

Have each group share what they found with the class.

4. Next give half of the students a yellow circle to pin onto their shirts, and the other half of the student's a green circle to pin on. Tell the students that when they go out to play at recess that only the green can play with the green and the yellow with the yellow. Have a part of the playground sectioned off for only the yellow to play in. Let the green circles know that they must always let those with yellow circles go ahead of them in lines. After awhile have the students come together and discuss how they felt during the activity. Discuss how it relates to how the African Americans were treated. Ask them if they think anything had improved since Dr. King was alive.

5. On several large pieces of butcher paper have the students make collages of what they can do to make a difference in the way people are treated. Students can draw, color, paint, paste or write their ideas. This will allow the students to let their differences come together in one big collage.

6. Ask the students what they have learned about Martin Luther King, Jr. and list their responses on the board.


1. Each group will share their research about Martin Luther King's contributions to the class by a written report and presentation.

2. Students will each write a journal entry on how they felt while doing the yellow/green circle activity.

3. Students will make a collage of what they can do to positively affect those around them.