In honor of Martin Luther King Jr. Day, teachers have been incorporating lessons into their classes that focus on the civil rights icon and his teachings in various immersive ways.
Jane Moskowitz’s Silver Cluster class spent time discussing Martin Luther King Jr.’s mission before watching his “I Have a Dream” speech. Ms. Moskowitz then had students develop a “found poem” using the last page of his speech. Found poems are when one uses an existing text and selects words and phrases from it to create a work of poetry. “The poems are remarkable,” said Moskowitz. The found poem to the right written by Hailey reads, “That one day every valley and every hill will be made straight and the glory shall be revealed. This is our hope the faith will be to transform our nation into a beautiful symphony. God’s children will be able to sing to be a great nation. So let freedom ring, let freedom ring and we are free at last.”
In Rebecca Felt’s Blue Cluster history class, students have been focused on Martin Luther King’s vision of what he called the Beloved Community and connecting the National Day of Service with MLK’s philosophy of individual and community action. To start, students watched a video from the National Day of Service featuring historic figures including Ruby Bridges and John Lewis. After analyzing the language of the Beloved Community in a summary, students broke into groups to create a project to identify basic human needs and ideas for service projects.
Students then completed homework that summarized the concept of Beloved Community, stating, “Part of Dr. King’s message was that everyone has the power to serve others and that each person can work to make a Beloved Community a reality through his or her own actions. Serving your community begins with careful observation to identify opportunities to help others.” They then analyzed scenarios, addressed the needs they recognized in each, and determined service projects that could help.
As Ms. Felt said, “Even though Martin Luther King Jr. Day is only on Monday, January 21, the lessons should continue throughout the year.”