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Martin Luther King Jr. Reading Activities for Upper Elementary Teachers (Grades 3-5)

I feel like the winter holidays always sneak up on me! It is as if Halloween, Thanksgiving and Christmas are on our radar starting at the end of summer and then all of a sudden you wake up and it’s Martin Luther King Day. This part of the school year goes by so fast! If this happens to you too, don’t worry because I have you covered with these Martin Luther King Jr. reading activities. Not only do they help students learn about Martin Luther King Jr., but also support them in practicing literacy skills. Learn more about this resource below!

A Martin Luther King Jr reading passage with reading comprehension activities is a great way for kids to learn about biographies, diversity, and beyond his “I had a dream” speech. These crafts, books, bulletin boards, and ideas are perfect for second, third, fourth, and fifth grade students as well as homeschool too.

What is Included in this Martin Luther King Jr. Reading Activities Resource?

This MLK reading resource includes the following components:

  • teacher’s guide that walks you step-by-step through how to implement this resource in your classroom
  • 3 differentiated reading passages so you can differentiate based on your students’ needs
  • reading comprehension activities that offer students practice with summarizing, identifying main idea and details, vocabulary/word choice, author’s purpose, and more
  • discussion prompt cards that promote higher-level thinking and thoughtful class discussions
  • differentiated writing paper with a prompt based on the topic
Martin Luther King Jr. ResourceMartin Luther King Jr. Resource
Martin Luther King Jr. ResourceMartin Luther King Jr. Resource

What Grades is it Appropriate For?

This MLK reading resource includes differentiated materials so it can be used with 3rd, 4th, and 5th grade students. There are different templates to choose from. This allows you to differentiate with ease.

Why do Teachers Love this MLK Reading Resource?

Elementary teachers love this MLK resource because it…

  • includes differentiated activities so you can choose what works best for your students and differentiate as needed, making all of your students feel confident and successful
  • requires very little prep
  • offers students a break from formal curriculum programs that follow a structured format
  • facilitates a fun learning experience for students in the month of January
  • looks great as a January bulletin board display
  • offers students the opportunity to practice the important reading strategy of close reading
  • trains students to become active participants in their reading through annotation
  • creates strong readers who are able to attack complex grade level texts
  • offers opportunities for students to read and annotate passages, engage in text-based discussions, study author’s vocabulary choices, analyze text structure, comprehend main ideas and key details, and develop their craft as a writer based on what they’ve read
  • promotes student engagement through studying a high-interest topic
  • is designed to enable all students to work on similar, but modified versions without it being obvious to their peers
  • sparks wonderful and meaningful conversations
A Martin Luther King Jr reading passage with reading comprehension activities is a great way for kids to learn about biographies, diversity, and beyond his “I had a dream” speech. These crafts, books, bulletin boards, and ideas are perfect for second, third, fourth, and fifth grade students as well as homeschool too.

How to Use it in your Classroom

This Martin Luther King Jr. resource is a perfect stand alone activity for MLK Day in January. It can also be used to complement an MLK, Black History Month, or biography unit. If you choose to use it with a biography unit, check out these biography activities, biography projects, and genre unit.

elementary genre unit product cover

If you are using this close reading resource to celebrate MLK Day, then consider checking out this list of Martin Luther King Jr. books for kids. It includes a ton of quality read alouds that are both informative and engaging. Consider also sharing videos about him, reading aloud his I Have a Dream speech, and inviting students to create a piece of artwork for a bulletin board display.

A Martin Luther King Jr reading passage with reading comprehension activities is a great way for kids to learn about biographies, diversity, and beyond his “I had a dream” speech. These crafts, books, bulletin boards, and ideas are perfect for second, third, fourth, and fifth grade students as well as homeschool too.

Other Martin Luther King Jr. Activities

Below are other Martin Luther King Jr. activities you can use with your students.

Martin Luther King Jr. Color by Code activity

MLK Color by Code Activity

This Martin Luther King Jr. Color by Code activity is a fun literacy activity for 3rd-5th grade students to do on MLK Day. Use it as morning work, a literacy center, or homework. Your students will be highly engaged, while practicing parts of speech concepts. Learn more about this resource in our Clutter-Free Classroom Teacher Store!

MLK activity packet

MLK Activity Packet

This Martin Luther King Jr. Activity Packet is filled with fun and engaging activities students love like a directed drawing writing activity, word search, and crossword puzzle! These activities can be used as center activities, homework, fast finisher tasks, filler activities, or indoor recess activities. Learn more about this print-and-go resource in our Clutter-Free Classroom Teacher Store!

MLK non-fiction unit

MLK Non-Fiction Unit

This MLK Nonfiction Reading Resource includes 3 leveled reading passages, vocabulary cards, reading and writing activities, and more. It pairs really nicely with our picture book companions like My Brother Martin, Martin’s Big Words, and Let the Children March. Learn more about this resource in our Clutter-Free Classroom Teacher Store!

MLK book companions

MLK Book Companions

These MLK Book Companion Bundle includes 4 of our Starts With a Story resources: My Brother Martin, Martin’s Big Words, and Let the Children March. Each of them includes printable and digital resources, so they can be used in school or at home. Learn more about this resource in our Clutter-Free Classroom Teacher Store!

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