We love having a day off of school especially if it means a 3 day weekend. But knowing why we have that day off for a first grader is a little challenging. Many thought it was a time to be with their family and have a picnic—(maybe they were thinking Fourth of July??)
I told them that we would be spending the day learning about Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. The children recognized his name and his face from our Scholastic News, but did not know why we take a day to honor him.
We started off by watching a short Brainpop Jr. clip about Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. The children found it hard to believe that a long time ago, children did not all go to the same school and had to sit in a different spot on busses. They were segregated by the color of their skin. These young children realized while watching the video how unfair that was and couldn’t understand how that even happened.
We also read several books about the life of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. We summarized his message with ways we can be like Dr. King. We felt we should be kind. We should include everyone. And most importantly, use our words to talk it out when we get upset. We made dream clouds to hang in our room to help us remember his kind nature.
I demonstrated Dr. King’s message that we should not be judged by what is on the outside, but the kind of person we are on the inside. I used two different colored eggs to show that we are different on the outside, but when you crack the eggs open, they are the same on the inside. Just like us!
When it came time for buddies with our fifth graders, we continued on with this theme by making posters to share Dr. King’s message. We worked together and designed a poster with our buddy that will hang in the school so we can all be reminded how Dr. King worked so hard to bring us all together.
Enjoy the day off, but most importantly, remember why we have it off.