Impromptu mini-lesson on Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.

LA/Writing Bell Work

LA/Writing Bell Work

A student asked the other day, “Why do we get Monday off?” It kind of reminded me that some students don’t know, and that it might be important to let them know a little bit about Dr. Martin Luther King. I began with bell work in order to jump-start the conversation. The kids were great, but they didn’t really know too much about what he did in general. However, they did know about his “I Have a Dream” speech, but outside of that, not so much. A few kids knew that he was assassinated in 1968. One student knew that he had been to jail on either one or more occasions, and for some reason or another the students got a chuckle out of that. I was encouraged that they knew a little beyond the famous speech he gave in Washington, D.C. on August 28, 1963…

This limited type of feedback was what I was expecting, so I took it as an opportunity to move on to our view and respond. I found a short clip on youTube via Mojo.com called, “Martin Luther King Jr.: Life and Death.” After the class did some active watching (jotting down the who, the what, the when, the where, and the why), we came back together to participate in an acrostic poem about Civil Rights. We had a short discussion to wrap up the mini-lesson to see if I had reached my goal for the mini-lesson. That main goal being, get a higher percentage of students to understand who Martin Luther King Jr. was beyond his famous speech(s) via bell work, view & respond, acrostic poetry, and a classroom discussion. That being said, the class volunteered to read their acrostic poems, and then we moved on to our Short Story Assignments which was the overall objective for the day. The mini-lesson took about 25 minutes, and hopefully they now know at least one more thing about why we get Monday off for Dr. Martin Luther King’s birthday.