Wednesday, January 23, 2013

Martin Luther King Jr Day project

Hi everyone!
Just wanted to share a little project that the kids and I did in honor of Martin Luther King Day. We actually did this on Sunday rather than on Monday, since I had to work and wouldn't be home with them on Monday.

I didn't want it to just be an extra day off for the's an important day, and I want my kids to be aware of the reason why we celebrate these days as holidays. I had originally planned to have books and videos and lots of other history materials tied in with this, but practically speaking, I just didn't have time. Weekends always seem to go so much faster than other days of the week, don't you think? :)

My husband had some of "the guys" over to watch football, including my brother in law, so he brought our niece with him. While they were playing, I grabbed some construction paper in "skin tone" colors (albeit rather cliche colors, but I worked with what I had and the kids understood the point anyway), white, yellow, orange, red, brown and black. I cut them into 1" strips and pulled out our trusty glue sticks.

I then had the kids create paper chains, first individually, and then we joined them all together.

While we worked, we talked about Dr. King, and why he was important to American history. We talked about why we are all linked together as Americans, despite what we may look like on the outside. The kids were very insightful, in their innocent way. My daughter, who is 5, was surprised that some people had to use different drinking fountains and attend different schools and other forms of segregation. My son, who is 7, was able to add what he has learned in school, about bus boycotts and marches. We also talked about how lucky we are to have access to the bus that Rosa Parks was riding on the day she refused to give up her seat. By the way, for more information on that bus, and events surrounding her 100th birthday on February 4th, go to And if you are anywhere in the vicinity of Dearborn, MI on that day, stop by the Henry Ford Museum to see the bus in person. It's a very humbling experience, especially because you can actually board the bus and sit in her seat. If you can't come on that day, make it a point to visit's such an amazing museum, and tells amazing stories.

It was fascinating to see the smaller world differences that impressed Abby, while the grander scale events have now impressed Davin. My niece, who is 11 and is quieter in general, didn't have a lot to say...I think she was more intrigued by the project as a whole. I think sometimes she isn't sure what to make of us, and the random projects that we might be working on when she comes over. :) She had fun regardless, and was really interested in making her chain follow a pattern and helping Davin & Abby with theirs.

In the end we had a HUGE chain! It ended up nearly spanning the entire dining room...the kids wanted to hang it in the family room, but I didn't think the guys would appreciate the interruption as we climbed across the furniture and blocked their views of the game as we draped it across windows and the like. :)

Now, Abby has paper chains on the brain, so I predict a red, white and pink chain in time for Valentine's Day or a pastel chain in time for Easter. Looks like I need to pick up some more construction paper. :)

1 comment:

  1. What a great project to do with the kids! A great aid in teaching them such an important thing! Thanks for sharing!...Nancy :o)