The best resources for teaching kids about Martin Luther King, Jr.



Education.com has compiled the top worksheets to help teachers structure their Martin Luther King, Jr. Day lesson plans.

As January 15th approaches, take this opportunity to teach your class about the history, achievements, and legacy of Dr. King. Through these lessons, you can start a larger conversation about diversity, understanding, and empathy.

We’ve highlighted the following worksheets and activities as the best starting points for creating a learning framework this month:


Digital timeline: discover MLK through online learning

Explore Martin Luther King, Jr.’s life and legacy, and put the events in order using the resources below.

The first timeline is available digitally as an Interactive Worksheet—no printing required. Students will read a short passage and drag and then drop key dates to paint a full picture of MLK’s impact. You can complete it on a smart board as a class, or assign the worksheet to each student in your roster using the Assignment feature.

The second timeline guides kids through a hands-on activity, which means that with some paper and markers, you can learn about the key events of Dr. King’s meaningful life.


Pages of change: read about MLK’s story

Teachers often look for text-based reading passages that are both informative and are easily comprehensible. These kid-friendly texts do both!

The first worksheet supplements a long reading passage about Dr. King with features such as a sidebar, map, headings, and a caption to help young readers navigate the text.

If you’re looking for a more in-depth analysis, the second reading passage guides students through making inferences about Dr. King’s leadership, impact, and the historical context behind his work.


Quotes for thought: reflect on MLK’s wisdom

If you can’t fly, run; if you can’t run, walk; if you can’t walk, crawl; but by all means keep moving.

Martin Luther King, Jr.

Encourage middle-schoolers to contemplate Dr. King’s significant message of “keep moving” and connect it to their own lives. This thought-provoking exercise will foster critical thinking as they ponder the meaning behind Dr. King’s timeless wisdom and write out their reflections.


MLK’s dream in action: activities to continue his vision

Help his dream live on! The following companion activities are designed to tie into Martin Luther King, Jr.’s “I have a dream” speech.

After reflecting on the speech, students will share their own dreams. From printable art projects that you can display on a class bulletin board, to writing prompts that challenge kids to put their ideas to paper, these ideas go beyond the typical curriculum and inspire students to look toward the future and the world that they hope to create.


MLK and beyond: prepare lessons for Black History Month

Black History Month is around the corner!

Prepare for February by transitioning your Martin Luther King, Jr. Day lessons into a larger class conversation about the Civil Rights Movement. Plus, as you discuss Dr. King, you can start celebrating the achievements of other Black visionaries throughout history.

Check out our list of The best worksheets for teaching kids about Black History Month, and get a head-start on next month’s lesson plans!


Looking for more learning fun? View all our Martin Luther King, Jr. Day worksheets, lesson plans, and activities below, or check out our full Learning Library of 36,000+ resources.

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