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Tuesday, December 15, 2009

Mini Unit Study: Martin Luther King Jr.

I've been doing some prep work ahead of time so I don't find myself procrastinating like I did last year with the homeschooling stuff, and then not being ready when the time came.

January 18 is Martin Luther King, Jr Day. My plan is to have a unit study the week before MLKJr Day, ending ON MLKJr Day. The week before will be a unit study not necessarily specifically about MLKJr, but about the issues MLKJr fought against or an introduction to other civil rights issues in history. I need some input on how the unit study sounds. Right now it's pretty basic, nothing extra. Once I get the basics figured out I'll be adding more activities.

Because of how I have our weeks set up, it will basically be a three day study. (The unit study itself doesn't include the Bible and Math studies we'll be doing)


  • What is prejudice/discrimination?
    • Give some examples of reasons people discriminate. (Meaning ethnic background, gender, sexual orientation, etc)
  • What was women's suffrage? (This is just to introduce them to another historical civil rights issue)
  • Read [I haven't picked out a book on women's suffrage yet].
  • What does the Bible say about discrimination?
  • Do a short skit depicting a woman being denied the ability to vote. Describe how that made you feel. (I know I have boys, which might not make it hit home completely, but they are very good at imagining what it would be like to be someone else, so I think it will work)
  • What is "segregation"?
    • Give some examples of segregation.
  • What is the Golden Rule?
    • Who does it apply to?
    • Should we treat someone differently just because they are different than we are?
  • Read "Rosa Parks and the Montgomery Bus Boycott" by Teresa Celsi
  • Do a short skit depicting Rosa Parks bus incident.
    • Describe how it made you feel. (I am contemplating purchasing some dark brown body paint to use on the child who will be acting as Rosa Parks, just so they can really look different for the purposes of the skit)
DAY THREE (Martin Luther King, Jr DAY):
  • Read [I haven't chosen a book about MLKJr to read yet].
  • Do MLKJr puzzle activity on page 14. (I have a MLKJr thematic unit study book. It's not quite what I had expected, so I'm modifying the unit study, but using some of the resources in the book)
    • Discuss the DC March of August '63.
    • Take turns reading the "I Have a Dream" speech
    • Do the "Peaceful Protest" activity on page 16.
  • Do "I Have a Dream" activity on page 12. (This activity involves the children drawing a dream they have inside a dream cloud)
  • Discuss importance of standing up for what you believe in, even in adversity.
  • HOME ECONOMICS: Make ["Soul Food" recipe I haven't yet chosen]. (I may decide to do a full meal of "soul food"...the only potential problem I'm seeing is that most of the dishes include pork or certain types of seafood we don't eat. I'll have to figure out how to modify it)
  • POSSIBLE EXTRA CREDIT: Little known fact, our personal family history includes slaves and inter-ethnic marriage. My Great-Great-Great-Great-Grandfather's first wife died. When the slaves were freed, my GGGGGrandfather had a slave he was quite fond of, so he married her. It has not yet been determined if OUR family lineage comes through that union or the union with his first wife, but when looking at some members of the family (one of my brothers included), there are some very distinct African features. For an extra credit project, we may attempt to look more deeply into our family lineage.

*If you are interested, I'll be updating this entry to include bits and pieces that haven't been decided on yet. Such the specific books or the menu for the soul food meal.