Celebrated each year on the third Monday in January, Martin Luther King Jr. Day honors King’s life and work as a civil rights leader. Even though he faced numerous challenges and struggles, Dr. King never hesitated to dream big and dedicated much of his life to turning his dreams into realities. Whether the children in your care dream of being a scientist or of world peace, encouraging them to dream big can help them achieve their goals and give them something to work towards.

I Have a Dream, Too

Adapted from an activity featured in The GIANT Encyclopedia of Monthly Activities, this Martin Luther King Jr. Day activity is a great way to document and share children’s dreams.

Materials:

What to Do:

  1. Read a book about Martin Luther King Jr. with students. Make sure children understand that Dr. King’s dream was to see people live together in harmony.
  2. Ask the children if there is something they would like all people to do. “If you could get everyone to do something important, what would you want them to do?” or “What do you think people should do so everyone can live happily together?”
  3. Write down what children say or record them and transcribe their words at a later time.
  4. Ask them to draw a picture on an 8” x 11” piece of white construction paper to illustrate their responses.
  5. Glue the 8” x 11” illustration to a 9” x 12” piece of colored construction paper.
  6. Print the children’s responses below their illustrations.
  7. Create a cover page for the book. (A photo or illustration of Dr. King makes a nice cover.) Print “I Have a Dream, Too!” on the cover. Use a piece of colored construction paper for the back cover.
  8. Bind the pages together into book form by punching three holes in the left edge of each page and using heavy thread to sew the pages together.
  9. Read the book together during storytime.
  10. If desired, make individual copies of the book for each child by copying each page before gluing them to the construction paper. Staple the copied pages together without the construction paper backing. Give one to each child.

You can easily adapt this activity for older children by having them make a poster or blog post that features a short essay about their dream and a drawing, picture, or collage that represents it. Be sure to browse our Celebrating Marting Luther King Jr. Day Pinterest board for more ideas on how you teach children about Dr. King's legacy.