Teach students about Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. and his nonviolent fight for civil rights in the United States with these resources.
Anthology of Freedom Poems
Some of your students may be aware that many poems and songs have been written about the struggle for freedom. Suggest that interested students work together to research poems based on this theme and compile their favorite poems into an anthology for the classroom reading center or school library. To get students started in their research you may wish to suggest several well-known poets who often write about this theme, such as Langston Hughes, Nikki Giovani, and Maya Angelou. Suggest that students add illustrations and consider grouping poems with similar themes together and arranging their anthology into sections. When the anthology is completed, encourage students to create an author and title index at the back of the book.
Civil rights issues encompass many different aspects of life, such as the rights of women and various minorities, children's rights, the right to free speech, assembly, religion, and so forth. Suggest that students work in small groups to select a current civil rights topic that is receiving coverage in newspapers and magazines and on public and commercial television. Challenge students to track the issue for two or three weeks. Then have students discuss what they learned, noting any biases and factual discrepancies, to prepare and present a panel discussion for the class. Involve the class in a debate of the issue, encouraging all students to share and discuss their opinions.