Martin Luther King Jr. Day Activities

Every year on the third Monday of January, we commemorate the life and work of civil rights leader Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. On MLK Day, we honor Dr. King’s legacy with a nationwide day of service to better our communities. In the classroom, this is a time for students to learn about Martin Luther King Jr.’s life, legacy, and contributions to the Civil Rights Movement. 

Enrich your Martin Luther King Day lessons by guiding students in service-based learning and meaningful reflection that they’ll remember for years to come. And keep in mind that Martin Luther King Jr. Day is simply a starting point for further discussion. Continue these conversations about Dr. King’s work for racial equality, economic justice, and international peace with your class year-round.

If you’re looking for meaningful MLK Day activities for kids and young adults, check out these resources.

8 MLK Day Activities for Your Elementary Classroom

You can incorporate lessons about the life of Martin Luther King Jr. into any elementary subject, from English language arts to social studies. This collection spans reading passages and writing prompts to engaging, interactive activities. Add these resources to your lesson plans for Martin Luther King Jr. Day or your school lessons for Black History Month.

Martin Luther King Jr. Emergent Reader & Centers by Limars Stars

Grades: PreK-K | English Language Arts

A purple banner at the top  reads "MLK Jr. Day Activity Booklets."  A collection of worksheets are overlaid with clip art of a Black figure and a White figure holding a dark pink heart between them.

MLK Jr. Day Bulletin Board and Banner Writing and Drawing Activity by Seasonably Primary

Grades: PreK-2 | Social Studies – History

This clipart cover includes the title "Martin Luther King Jr." at the top, Dr. MLK speaking from a podium and gesturing at a globe, a line of students holding hands at the bottom, an orange polka dot outer border, and a green repeating half-circle inner border.

Martin Luther King Jr. Day  Bundle by Butterfly Chalkboard

Grades: PreK-5 | English Language Arts

The resource title "The History of Martin Luther King Jr. Day" is on a black banner with a downwards facing pencil and the call out "PDFs and PNGs." Below are a collection of black and white worksheets and colorful slides interspersed with clipart students.

The History of MLK Day by Read Like a Rockstar

Grades: 1-5 | Social Studies – History

Across the top is the activity type, "Message Math Mystery Pictures," and along the bottom is subtitle "MLK Collection." The middle of the image shows completed math pictures that spell out the phrases MLK, LOVE, PEACE, DREAM, and EQUAL amid clipart of, facts about, and quotes from Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.

Martin Luther King Jr. Math Activity | MLK Color by Number by Ford’s Board

Grades: 2-5 |  Math, Arithmetic

A black and white portrait drawing of MLK is shown with an American flag partially behind him. Along the side of the resource cover are the subject areas, "Reading & Social Studies." In the upper right hand corner is a box with a read border that reads "Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Student Comprehension Park."

Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Reading Comprehension & Questions by The Lit Teacher

Grades: 2-6 | Social Studies – History

A photograph of the resource's printed worksheets with colorful pens and atop a red and white checkered cloth make up the bulk of the resource cover. Along the top is the book title this resource is aligned to, "Martin's Big Words," and the resource subtitle, "Read Aloud with Rigor Series."

Book Companion Set for Martin’s Big Words | Black History Month Reading Activity by Tanya G Marshall The Butterfly Teacher
Grades: 3-4 | Reading Strategies

This resource cover has a blue background, the title "Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Writing Prompt," activity pages from the resource, and clip art of MLK, a penny, and the quotes, "I have a dream," and "We shall overcome."

MLK Jr. Writing Prompt by Teachers R Superheroes

Not Grade Specific | Social Studies, Writing

4 Middle and High School Lesson Plans for Martin Luther King Jr. Day

As students get older, they have a deeper ability to analyze, understand, and reflect on Dr. King’s contributions and impact. Dive into MLK Jr.’s legacy with in-depth historical lessons and activities that blend math and ELA with history. These MLK day activities can be used to honor and learn about Dr. King on his dedicated day in January, during Black History Month in February, or any lesson on the civil rights movement throughout the year.

This clipart resource cover with a white background shows an iPad with an activity page in the left hand corner, a computer screen with the interactive notebooks and MLK on it in the center, and the text "Martin Luther King, Jr. - No Prep for Google Slides" along the top.

Martin Luther King Jr Digital Interactive Notebook for Google Slides by BVG SLP

Grades: 5-8 | English Language Arts, Speech Therapy

A black and white resource page from this MLK Jr. Day activity.

Martin Luther Luther King, Jr. Day Webquest by Cheryl Fenderson

Grades: 7-12 | U.S. History

This "Collaborative Google Sheets Mosaics - Slope Intercept Form" resource shows the completed MLK mosaic with a QR code that leads to his speech. Features of the resource are listed in bullet points that read, " Auto-graded; No prep; Individual accountability; Collaborative motivation; Flexible class size; Distance learning." At the bottom is a black banner that says "Engage the whole class" with a large green checkmark.

Slope Intercept Form, MLK Google Sheets Collaborative Mosaic by CalfordMath

Grades: 8-10 | Algebra, Fractions, Geometry  

This text-filled resource cover has a dark and light green border, a white background, a small portrait of Dr. King layered with a newspaper image. The cover reads "Martin Luther King and the March on Washington (August 28, 1963)" in black sans serif font, "Newspaper Activity and Texts with Activities" in a green cursive font, and "Bundle of 2: Grades 9-12" in a black caps font.

Martin Luther King March on Washington Civil Rights Bundle – PRINT and EASEL by Diana Bailey

Grades: 9-12 | U.S. History

Find more classroom-ready activities on TPT to commemorate Martin Luther King Jr. Day with your students.

This post, originally written in 2022, has been updated for 2024.

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