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January 5, 2013

Planning for Dr. King's Birthday

For Dr. King's Birthday, I like to have my students think of their own wish for the world.  We discuss what Dr. King's dream was, and then we brainstorm together what our own wishes are.  Coming off of Christmas when the students are so focused on themselves and what they feel they need, I try to guide them into thinking of things that will help the entire world.

For example:
*Clean water for all
*No wars
*Medicine for anyone who needs it

We discuss and then they write a multi-paragraph essay about it.  We are working on details, so they will need to not only state their dream, but also a solution that could make that a reality.  Of course the solution may not be a real life possibility, but in their eyes it could.  

When they are ready to tackle the final draft I will give them a paper from this packet.  There is a full sheet with clip art, as well as a 1/2 sheet with clip art.  It's free, just click the link!  
The new year means I'm also starting out a new incentive thing in my classroom.  My kids are spelling out words to earn whole class rewards.  We tried doing something like this the week before Christmas break using Tara's "Be Merry" banner, and they really were motivated to earn the letters.  We still do warm fuzzies, but these are mainly used those weeks that there is something special going on and we need a little extra motivation to make good choices (staying on green, walking in line, etc).  

I made up a DREAM banner (and also a SNOWMAN , and then a Love Bug one), and this weekend am planning on getting the rest of Winter complete.  I'm making up 2 sizes for each banner since I want to use the full sheet for the Writing wall and the smaller 1/2 sheet for the board.  They are in the same set for convenience.  

Do you do something for Dr. King's birthday too?  Any other activities you could share with me?  Sometimes it seems that I get so trapped in the regular routine that I forget about all the thematic stuff that helps to supplement their learning.     


  1. Hello!
    I love your spelling words incentive. I do a similar thing with my students, but like the idea of changing words based on the holiday/season.

    I just uploaded a 30-page MLK packet that is chalked full of engaging and ready-to-use activities. Check out the post here:

    Joy in the Journey


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