Martin Luther King Jr.

This week in first grade we have been researching and learning about Martin Luther King to prepare for his upcoming holiday.  I loved spending time learning about him right after our New Year dreams we wrote our first week back from break!  The connection between our two ideas was just perfect!

If you use my Common Core Units, you may be wondering why I’m teaching MLK now and not with Unit 5: American Contributors…and the answer is simple… I just like the way the American Contributors unit fits in January and February.  It ties in with MLK day, with Presidents’ Day and with black history month!

So I was super excited to start our Bright ideas unit this week!

We started off by reading resources and gathering facts about MLK.  I **LOVED** using Google Docs for this and integrating technology this way.  The kids were engaged and loved watching me type and it definitely saved anchor chart space!

We read 3 different sources, Martin’s Big Words, a reading rainbow clip about MLK and a pebble go article on him.  We added a * beside each fact when we heard it again from another source.  So, two stars by a fact means we heard it two more times after the original time.

Since we would be talking about choosing *important* facts the next day, knowing which facts we heard over and over would be important!

The next day, we reviewed our facts and talked about what his bright idea was–what was his main contribution that made our lives better?  We charted his bright idea on our group charts {each group is named for an American Contributor}.

Then, students recorded his idea in their “Who Had a Bright Idea?” booklet that we will use during the entire unit to record our contributors we study.

In readers’ workshop that day, we discussed filtering through facts to choose the *important* facts.  We highlighted our facts in blue!

We charted our important facts on an anchor chart for future reference! {But thankfully it could be much smaller since we’d filtered through our facts!}

Then, students chose 4 of their own important facts from our notes, turned them into complete sentences and recorded them on our MLK graphic organizer!

On the 3rd day, we “published” our important facts and made our MLK craft!  Isn’t he adorable?? 🙂

Thanks to this MLK mini unit, my first graders are ready to rock and roll with our next idea in writing…choosing the most important facts to teach readers! ;(

… or grab the entire 6 week unit which includes MLK and other American contributors!

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