In celebration and remembrance of Martin Luther King Jr. there is already a lot out there but how to decide what to use in the classroom and what not to? Deciding to focus on primary resources has a number of advantages. Hearing Dr. King's own thoughts and reading his own words allows students to interpret on their own instead of analyze another's interpretation.
Above is the video of King's I have a Dream speech and The King Center in Atlanta, Georgia has an amazing archive they have digitized giving the public access to photos, letters and speeches all in King's own words.
In a high school English class students could watch the video or read documents and write short essays about the persuasiveness of King or how things have, or have not, changed and what King's influence was in that change. In a history class, where students are expected to work with primary documents, the archives at The King Center can be the beginning of an object study or how King's message changed based on changes he made while developing speeches.
In a middle school classroom teaching empathy, tolerance and acceptance is an important part of the curriculum. Watching King's speech could lead to students writing journal entries about when they experienced or witnessed intolerance and how they handled it.
How are you planning on celebrating Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.?