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Martin's Big Words: The Life of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.

Last updated Thursday, June 5, 2014

Author: Doreen Rappaport
Illustrator: Bryan Collier
Date of Publication: 2001
ISBN: 0786807148
Grade Level: 1st    (GLCs: Click here for grade level guidelines.)
Date(s) Used: Jun. 2014

Synopsis: This picture book biography of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. brings his life and the profound nature of his message to young children through his own words. Martin Luther King, Jr., was one of the most influential and gifted speakers of all time. Doreen Rappaport uses quotes from some of his most beloved speeches to tell the story of his life and his work in a simple, direct way.

Discussion topics for before reading:
•  Has anyone heard of Martin Luther King? if so, what did he do?

•  protest - an event at which people gather together to show strong disapproval about something
•  segregation - the practice or policy of keeping people of different races, religions, etc., separate from each other
•  Nobel Prize - one of six annual prizes that are awarded to people for important work in the fields of literature, physics, chemistry, medicine, and economics and for helping to bring about peace in the world

Discussion topics for during/after reading:
•  Why was Rosa Parks arrested?
•  How did black Americans protest for equal rights?
•  Was Martin Luther King Junior a brave man?

Craft ideas:
•  Make a "stained glass" drawing, similar to the illustrations on in the inside cover. Use lighter colors first, then black for the borders. (see sample)
•  Make a father's day card.

*Note: These craft ideas are just suggestions. You can use them, but you don’t have to use them. You can expand upon them, or add your own twist. Remember, though, that the focus of your time should not be on the development and execution of a craft; the focus should be on the read-aloud and the enjoyment of the book!