Martin Luther King, Jr. and Timelines

This month I am linking up with the I Teach First Bloggers to share some great ideas for the month of January.  Follow the links at the bottom of this post for more great ideas!

This is one of my favorite projects that I look forward to every year. It incorporates two important Social Studies standards: Martin Luther King, Jr. and timelines.

This is a culminating project that I use after my class has spent several days learning about Martin Luther King, Jr.  We have already read books, watched videos, learned about him on PebbleGo, etc.  I recommend having two days to complete this project.

The students love this project for two reasons.  First, I let them work with a partner, which they LOVE.  Also, I let them use their colored pencils (I don't let them keep their colored pencils or markers in their boxes, we only get them out for special projects).

I partner the students up, and give each set one of the MLK timeline pages.  I set out multiple books, pictures, etc. of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.  I also use Google images to display some photographs on the Smart Board.

I give the students plenty of time to complete their illustration, which I think shows in the quality of their work.

On Day 2, we gather together in the hallway.  I have hung a line of yarn in the hall (probably about 10-12 feet long).  I have also printed the years from the pages on the blank side of index cards.  I am also armed with a roll of masking tape.

We work together to order the events of Martin Luther King, Jr's life. It is a bit tricky for students to order the years (but this is good exposure for them, and some of the students really get it). They bring them up and we tape them in order making a large timeline of his life.  I love that it makes the timeline come to life for the students, in a way that a small piece of paper cannot.

You can download the pages for the timeline by clicking here!


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