Examining Martin Luther King Jr's. Leadership Through Close Reading

8 teachers like this lesson
Print Lesson


SWBAT answer questions and discuss Martin Luther King Jr's. leadership and what to what extent his leadership characteristics played in changing the nation.

Big Idea

Understanding and valuing leadership qualities in others builds leadership capacity in ourselves.

Adding to the List: Reviewing Previous Learning

10 minutes

Today's lesson is a continuation of yesterday's lesson working with the text Martin's Big Words by Doreen Rappaport.  This will be the second reading of this book and the questions will focus on the leadership that Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. displayed during his lifetime and how those qualities contributed to his being a leader.  

When the students come to class today, we begin by reviewing our leaders chart.  I ask the students if there is anyone else they want to add.  One kid says he wants to add Kanye and someone wants to add their pastor.  The class snickers that I added Kanye but at the end of the lessons, they can decide if Kanye fits the bill as a leader.  After all, it is not my job to sway the students or tell them who to look up to or consider a leader, all we are doing is studying the traits that all leaders have in common.

We also review the characteristics chart and ask if anyone has anything to add.  Some of the groups from yesterday did find some new traits so we add "courageous" and "religious".  

It is now time to move on to our second day of working with this text.  

What Made It So: Examining Martin's Leadership

40 minutes

I hand out the questions- there are only two- and dismiss partners to work through them.  I allow the students to choose partners but warn them to choose someone who's reading level is similar to their own.  

Once my kiddos are spread out around the room comfortably reading through the text, I can wander, listen to their conversations and file the information I hear away for future use.  I love this time!!

Once the pairs have finished, we reconvene and discuss the answers to the questions.  

Sharing Our Thinking

10 minutes

After the students have finished their answering their text dependent questions, it is time to share.  The beauty of a well written text dependent question is the variety of answers that come about that can all be considered correct.  A well written text dependent question spurs all kinds of discussion and debate which is also amazing!!

In the discussion today I felt as though each child was able to contribute in his or her own way and on their own level.  I did not collect the questions, but I told the students that there would be an independent question in the next lesson for a grade.