Martin Luther King Quotes & Activities

January and February are the perfect time to teach your students about Martin Luther King Jr. because we celebrate not only his birthday, but also Black History Month. These holidays provide the perfect platform for sharing about noteworthy African Americans who stood up for what was right.

I've compiled some resources to help simplify your lesson planning.
First of all, here is an awesome quote poster graphic from the Freehold Dodge dealership in New Jersey
Aren't these quotes awesome? I love sharing thought-provoking quotes in the classroom and seeing the discussion that unfolds. Hearing the direct words that Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. spoke make him more real to students. These words capture the heart and spirit of what Dr. King sought to accomplish during his fight for equality.
Thanks to Erik from Freehold Dodge for sharing this graphic!

To kick off our study, I always loved to read a couple of
Martin Luther King books:
and one of my all-time favorites, 
Martin's Big Words
One of the best things about this book is the powerful words and the incredible illustrations:
 To accompany this book and extend my student's learning about the power of words, I have created a Poster Packet of important quotes from the story:
 You could use this activity either before or after reading the story. I use it after reading it through once. I hang the quote posters around the classroom and have the students walk through and read them. Then, I have them think about what the quote means and how it could be used to influence and encourage people to pick up the cause of civil rights.
 Here's the preview of the posters plus a student activity sheet to use:
You could also divide your students into groups and assign each one a quote. They could focus in one what the quote means and then prepare a short presentation for the class.
These posters could also be used as a
thought-provoking bulletin board.

Note: This packet is included in my MLK Mega Packet and is also sold separately in my TpT store.

Speaking of, heres my MLK Mega Packet:
Here's a preview of what's included in the 55-page MEGA Packet!
This ready-to-use packet that will inform, challenge, and edify your students as you learn about Dr. King's legacy and the lasting impact he made on our world.

Inside the Head of a Leader
And then to continue our unit, we will discuss what made Martin Luther King, Jr. a great leader. 
{Here is the example of an activity we did last year}
We listed the qualities of leadership he exhibited and things he was passionate about inside his "head."
Disclaimer: I am by NO MEANS an artist, so don't judge my poor representation of MLK :) 
I told the students that Martin wasn't the only leader in history. We discussed various examples of other heroes and their characteristics (many of which over-lapped). I then told them I was staring at FUTURE leaders. 

"Inside the Head of a FUTURE Leader"
We repeated the exercise, only this time each student got a profile of a boy or girl and filled it's head with leadership qualities they have and different things they are passionate about. They turned out SO well!
It was an awesome opportunity for the students to not only learn about what makes a great leader - but for them to then see what it will take for them to become a future generation of leaders.

Boys vs. Girls No Talking Contest!

Have you ever read the book No Talking by Andrew Clements?
It's a funny and relatable story about a group of 5th graders who go head-to-head in a battle to see who (girls or boys) can speak the fewest amount of words in two days. In the end, they learn about the importance of thinking before you speak. And doesn't every upper elementary class need to learn that lesson? ;)

You can find this book on amazon, at Barnes and Noble or other book stores, or at your local library. I am not affiliated with this author or book. I just enjoy the book and wanted to create a packet that teachers could easily use in their classroom.

I have always taught the novel Frindle to my 5th graders (you can read more about that here) and last year my kiddos loved the writing style so much I decided to build on their enthusiasm and read another Andrew Clements book. I chose No Talking and to say they loved it would be an understatement! They connected with the characters right away, thought the "no talking challenge" was genius, and learned some important lessons along the way. Sounds like a win-win-win to me!

Throughout the novel study we did a variety of activities to keep the students involved and engaged. As we read the students filled out chapter summary pages for every chapter:
(I've included answer keys for every chapter)
 and cause and effect graphic organizers (for every 5 chapters)
We also noted important character details for each of the main characters (Dave, Lynsey, and Mrs. Hiatt)
We kept track of all the characters (school stories always have a lot) on this graphic organizer:
To hold the students accountable for their reading, I also gave them little quizzes every few days (every 5 chapters) that tested their story recall and comprehension.
We discussed important vocabulary words as we read:
I've included 4 vocabulary word cards for every chapter (80 total) plus some blank cards for you to use if you'd like to include additional words to study.

After the story we completed some interactive notebook foldables in our reading notebook:
Some of my students' favorite things were the extension activities we did after we finished the novel:
Just like Dave, the students researched Mahatma Gandhi:
They worked in pairs to write a funny story, switching off every three words:
And, of course, they had their own No Talking content, boys vs. girls:
We also held debates where the students discussed important topics, 3-words-at-a-time:
And we had a whole class period where the students communicated only by passing notes, just like the students in Mr. Burton's class:

As you can see, we were really invested in the story by the time we finished our unit! The students loved our study and talked about the novel all year long (which is hilarious since it's about not talking!)

If you're looking for a novel study to do with your 5th graders, I highly recommend No Talking by Andrew Clements. And to simplify your lesson planning, you can download my print-and-go 130 page novel study - the perfect supplement to a study of the book, whether you're doing it as a whole-class, a small group (i.e. reading groups or literature circles), or as an individual project. Complete answer keys are included.

Here's a sampling of all that's included:

You can download the preview document for the complete Table of Contents and a list of the Common Core and ELAR TEKS (Texas) standards that are met in this packet.

Ready to simplify your lesson planning?

Want to PIN this idea for later?
If you use this resource in your classroom, I'd love to hear about it! E-mail me to be featured on my blog!

What's Cookin' Wednesday: Homemade Cheese Danishes

Happy Wednesday, friends!
Confession time:
I love Pinterest.
I love hunting for treasures and finding just the right thing to try, to make, to taste. 
I also like perusing my home feed, checking out things I would maybe never think to search for.
What a wonderful world!

Today's "What's Cookin' Wednesday" recipe is pin-spired:
Homemade Cheese Danishes
Your mouth is watering just looking at the picture, isn't it? :)
I knowwwww!
So good.

Ok, let's get these danishes off the screen and into your belly.
The original recipe came from foodlush
I read all of the comments and, taking their suggestions into account, modified the recipe. The end result was PERFECT!

  • 2 cans of crescent rolls
  • 1 8oz package of cream cheese at room temp.
  • 1/2 cup white sugar
  • 1 tsp lemon juice
  • 3/4 tsp vanilla
  • 1 T sour cream
  • 1 cup confectioner's sugar
  • 2 T milk
  • 2 T softened butter

  1. Preheat the oven to 350.
  2. Open the crescent rolls carefully to avoid unrolling or tearing the dough. You'll need to leave it in it's cylindrical shape. Slice the dough into pieces about 1/2 inch thick (as though you're slicing cookie dough). Place the slices on a cookie sheet and press the center in to make an indentation for the cream cheese filling.
  3. In a large mixing bowl, mix together the cream cheese, white sugar, lemon juice, vanilla and sour cream. Add a dollop of the mixture to the indentation you made in each circle of dough. I find that about a T works well, but you can use as little or as much as you like. If you like fruit with your danish, you can also add it to the rolls before the cream cheese mixture. (I like cherry pie filling or blackberry preserves, personally.) Bake for 15 - 20 minutes.
  4. While the danish are baking, you can make a quick royal icing to drizzle over the tops. Mix together the confectioner's sugar, milk and butter in a small bowl. You can use a spoon to drizzle it over the tops of the danish, or you can put it into a small zip-top bag and snip of the corner for an easy "piping bag." Take the danishes out of the oven and allow them to cool for 10-15 minutes before icing.
Voila! That's it! Homemade ooey-gooey cheese danish goodness in less than an hour! My hubby and I have been eating these every day (no, we did not share). They reheat really well - 11 seconds in the microwave and they are finger-licking good! I plan to bring them to my next MOPS meeting - I'm sure they'll be a big hit!

Looking for more recipe ideas?
Check out my food-pinspired boards on Pinterest:

Do you have a go-to recipe that you LOVE? I'd love to hear about it - leave a comment below :)
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