In just a few days our nation will celebrate Martin Luther King Day, which recognizes the contributions that famed Civil Rights leader Martin Luther King, Jr. made to advancing racial equality through non-violent means. Since 1986, the third Monday in every January people take part in various activities--speeches, marches, community service projects, or visiting sites that highlight King's life and legacy. As educators seeking to create independent, conscious thinkers, how can we get them to use their words and knowledge to affect change in their schools? As King wrote as a junior at Morehouse College,
- Research the history of MLK Day. Although now celebrated across the nation as a federally recognized holiday, this was not the case. Have students research how the movement for the day began, the challenges it faced, and the circumstances that helped it pass into law in 1986. Track how long it took for states to adopt the day and write an article highlighting the major stages of development from beginning to present-day events.