Some of the links in this post are affiliate links. This means if you click on the link and purchase the item, I will receive a small commission at no extra cost to you. All opinions remain my own.
Martin Luther King Poetry Center
Teach the significance of Martin Luther King’s message to your younger students with this Martin Luther King poem for kids.
Teaching about this famous African American leader to younger grades, such as Prek, kindergarten, and first grade, can be difficult. We want to teach them of MLK’s leadership, bravery, and dream for a better world, but need to keep it on a basic level.
Getting Started with Martin Luther King Poems for Kids
When introducing the poem, I used the printable Martin Luther King poem for kids (see below).
First, the kindergarten and first grade reading groups started with a sight word hunt and/or letter search- finding words and letters they already knew.
After giving them a few minutes to locate words or letters they knew, I allowed them to do a turn and share.
A turn and share allows them time to share their finding with a peer. I believe this is a great bridge into the lesson, because it gets them thinking and talking about what the poem could be about. If a child can make a connection to the text, they are more likely able to be engaged and build retention.
To extend our learning about MLK Jr., we revisited the poem the following day. In kindergarten reading groups, we did an echo reading, followed by a shared reading.
In first grade groups, we located rhyming words, did a shared reading, independent read aloud, and paired reading.
When done, we added the Martin Luther King poem for kids to our poetry notebooks.
Martin Luther King Build a Poem
On the following day, while I pulled kids for progress monitoring, the other kiddos went to the Build a Poem pocket chart center. When they got to the poetry station, the Dr. King poem was hanging at the top of the pocket chart. The large print word cards were mixed up along the bottom.
Students are engaged, interacting with peers, reading, and learning the basic message of Martin Luther King, Jr. I couldn’t have been happier with this Martin Luther King activities! Way to go, kiddos! This MLK poetry activities are also great for Black History Month.
Before you go, here are a few blog posts with poems you will enjoy: