Monday, January 16, 2012

Commerating Martin Luther King's Achievements in the Classroom

Today is MLK's birthday. How can his message of peace, equality, elimination of hunger, and a living wage for all be part of the classroom? At what grade level can it be incorporated into the curriculum and to what extent? These are the questions teachers attempt to address on a daily basis in the typical classroom.

Discrimination in any form is unacceptable in this day and age and yet it is still around. So what are educators to do? Why not find avenues within lessons to highlight the achievements of ethnic groups?

If guest speakers visit the classroom, why not try to find speakers who represent the group (if the classroom has a high number of minorities)? If the classroom has very few to no minorities, why not bring in some minority guest speakers to break any stereotypes students may have of those groups (conscious or subconscious)? How about bringing in women guest speakers to address sexism in society (female astronaut, physicist, mathematician, etc.)?

If historical material is being covered, bring in the viewpoints of the minority leaders of the time to provide a bigger picture of historical events. For example, if you are working with the US Civil War, bring in Sojourner Truth. Have students explore not only how she fought to liberate slaves, but was also active in fighting for equal rights for women of the time.

Remember that internet is an incredible source of supplemental material for anything here. Use it:)

SITE: Putting the Movement Back into Civil Rights Teaching



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