January and February are PACKED with so many important days – New Years, MLK Day, 100th Day, Groundhog Day, Valentine’s Day, and President’s Day. Although there are so many special days, I do prioritize Martin Luther King Day during this busy season and my friends love spending 2 weeks learning about Martin’s life and what he stood for.
Starting out our unit with BrainPop Jr.’s free MLK video gives up a general overview and something to really dig into. Many of our 1st graders have never heard of Dr. King, so it’s the perfect introduction.
Since our theme time is so limited in the afternoon, I worked hard to integrate our social studies and science units into our core reading time. Through Scholastic Reading Club, I have guided reading sets of Martin Luther King Jr. from National Geographic Kids and Let’s Dream, Martin Luther King. These are books that work really well for my above-grade level 1st graders so they would be just-right for grade level 2nd graders.
During guided reading, we also pull out of Scholastic News Magazines. I laminate these magazines each year, so my future classes can use them. This is the first magazine of the year that is written in a two-column format and my 1st graders feel like ‘real’ readers when they read this!
After learning all about Martin Luther King Jr. and his dream, we love brainstorming our dreams for the world. These dreams make a perfect hallway display and a sweet writing piece for our 1st grade portfolio.
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