This research unit for primary grades was designed to study the life of Martin Luther King, Jr., in conjunction with Martin Luther King, Jr. Day in January. Using the book Martin’s Big Words by Doreen Rappaport as a springboard for student brainstorming, the unit gives students the opportunity to use print or nonprint materials to conduct research and use technology to share their learned information with others. The unit contains four lessons to lead students from initial questioning of a topic through research to the culminating project of creating a Voki, or animated avatar. Each lesson is teacher-led with students completing research under their guidance. A graphic organizer is included for students' notes during research.
The lesson plans are written generically for two reasons. One, schools have access to different research materials and research processes, so I wanted to allow flexibility in utilizing what is available at your school. Secondly, I wanted to write the lessons in a way that any teacher or library media specialist may adapt and utilize this unit in their classroom.
This unit may also be adapted for use for Presidents’ Day. A teacher could substitute a book, such as So You Want to Be President by Judith St. George, and complete the activities as planned, though researching a President instead of Martin Luther King, Jr.
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