Monday, January 16, 2017

Civics Education : Martin Luther King's Day : Resources

Beginning in 1971, cities such as St. Louis, Missouri, and states established annual holidays to honor Martin Luther King. 

On November 2, 1983, President Ronald Reagan signed a bill creating a federal holiday to honor King. 

Observed for the first time on January 20, 1986, it is called Martin Luther King Jr. Day. The holiday is observed on the third Monday of January each year, near the time of King's birthday. 

Martin Luther King Jr. Day is the first national holiday named for a modern private citizen. Initially celebrated on this day in 1986, it is now observed in all 50 states.

Google Doodle:

Google Doodle Martin Luther King Day 2017

Google doodles are awesome experiences for almost every important personality in science, literature, art, human rights, technology.

After Doodles celebrating Sandford Fleming, the inventor of system of international standard time, Carrie Derick, a Canadian botanist and geneticist, here Martin Luther King, Jr Day.
The beautiful tradition of Doodles beginning on August 1998, honores on this day, Martin Luther King, Jr DayOne of the Rev. Martin Luther King Jr.'s major themes was unity.

Google Doodle Martin Luther King Day 2017
Google searching page
The Doodle, a watercolor-like depiction of several races and sexes of people holding hands, is vibrant and powerful. It highlights the achievements of the civil rights leader, whose birthday is honored each year with a national holiday in the US. 

Monday 16 isn't King's real birthday. King was born January 15. But a federal holiday signed into law in 1983 sets aside the third Monday of each January to observe his birthday.

Today's Doodle, by guest artist Keith Mallett, captures one of the major themes of King's speeches and writing: Unity

"All life is interrelated," he said. "We are all made to live together." 

King's message of nonviolence and love, delivered in magnificent speeches and masterful writing, shaped the American civil rights movement and inspired activists worldwide. 

Martin Luther King Jr. Nobel Peace Prize 1964
credits: The Nobel Foundation archive.

Martin L. King Jr was awarded the Nobel Peace Prize in 1964. He adhered to Gandhi's philosophy of nonviolence

Martin L. King urged Americans of all races to keep "working toward a world of brotherhood, cooperation, and peace."  

Doodle also doubles as a promotion for the curated Collection of Civil Rights Photography from the High Museum of Art in Atlanta.


King taught that we are all capable of lighting the way to "the bright daybreak of freedom and justice," and that we can unite to show that "love is the most durable power in the world."

As in Mandela Day, teachers can invite the students to take action and inspire change by celebrating Human Rights Day in school honoring  King's message of nonviolence and love. Include Civics activities in a cross-curricular plan.

Some activities:
  • Make peace with an unfriend. Get to know someone in the school from a different cultural background and through mutual understanding rid intolerance and xenofobia.
  • Read to someone who can't. Visit a local home for old people or for blind people and open up a new world for someone else.
  • Help someone at the supermarket, on the street or someone who is a bit lost in the city or can't find the right bus, for example.
  • Visit an hospital and speak to ill people or ill children. Take a little time to have a chat and bring some sunshine into their lives.
  • Grab blankets that you no longer need from home and give them to homeless people.
  • Help out at a local animal shelter. Dogs and cats without homes still need a walk or a bit of love.
  • Make a Peace concert at school by writing some lyrics about peace, social inclusion and adjusting to a tune that students love. Invite the local community to listen it.
  • Deliver computer literacy workshops to older people in school (grandparents, neighbours,  community).

Literacy is probably the most important skill for an individual to acquire and develop. An empowerment tool that gives access to further education and new opportunities. 

IT skills complete the education of all in our days. However, Unity is one of the most important values to pledge.

The High Museum is one of the only venues to see a significant collection of photos from the Civil Rights movement. 

Over 300 photos paint a picture of various moments in Civil Rights history like Rosa Park's arrest and the multitude of social protests.

Nobel Peace Prize: Martin Luther King Jr Lessons: facts, biography, Nobel lecture, acceptance speech.

Peace Doves game


Peace Doves Game: Invite your younger students to play the Nobel Peace Dove game to disarm the world with the help og peace doves.

Students have eight 'Peace Doves', each able to disarm one of the eight countries possessing nuclear weapons. They try the game and learn more about nuclear disarmament.
The game takes place in space, and features doves with names like "Lady Juliet," "Dolores," and "Peggy Sue." 
The introduction makes is redolent of the opening of "Star Wars" with on-screen text scrolling up, before asking, "Are you Ready?"
Promoted on the homepage, the online game resides in the Educational section of the Nobel Prize website.

Note: The game Peace Doves Game was discontinued.

illustrations: Jean Julien

But you have the lovely book Imagine by Jean Jullien. He has illustrated Imagine, the first picture book set to John Lennon’s original lyrics. The book has a foreword by Yoko Ono Lennon and was created in collaboration with Amnesty International to “inspire a new generation to imagine a world at peace”. 

Languages: 4 languages for 7 countries.

Activities: Read more here

"The function of education is to teach one to think intensively and critically. Intelligence plus character - that is the goal of true education."

Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.


update: 20.01.2020
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