Grade Levels: 3-5, 6-8

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This lesson accompanies the BrainPOP topic Martin Luther King, Jr., and supports the standard of illustrating historical and contemporary means of changing society. Students demonstrate understanding through a variety of projects.


Ask students: What do you know about Martin Luther King, Jr.? What words do you associate with MLK, Jr.?


  • Read aloud the description on the Martin Luther King, Jr. topic page.
  • Play the Movie, pausing to check for understanding. 
  • Assign Related Reading. Have students read one of the three articles. Partner them with someone who read a different article to share what they learned with each other.

Step 3: APPLY and ASSESS 

Assign the Martin Luther King, Jr. Challenge and Quiz, prompting students to apply essential literacy skills while demonstrating what they learned about this topic.


Students express what they learned about Martin Luther King, Jr. while practicing essential literacy skills with one or more of the following activities. Differentiate by assigning ones that meet individual student needs.

  • Make-a-Movie: Create a mini documentary about Martin Luther King, Jr. that explains how his actions impacted others’ lives.
  • Make-a-Map: Identify major events in Martin Luther King, Jr.’s life as a civil rights leader, and how each demonstrated his commitment to nonviolence. 
  • Creative Coding: Code a newscast announcing how Martin Luther King, Jr.‘s nonviolent protests led to Supreme Court decisions banning segregation. 
  • Primary Source Activity: Analyze an article about Martin Luther King, Jr.’s visit to a college, and cite details to answer the questions. 

More to Explore

Time Zone: Martin Luther King, Jr.: Place historical events in chronological order in this interactive timeline game.

Teacher Support Resources:

Lesson Plan Common Core State Standards Alignments