My Brother Martin Close Read

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SWBAT gain understanding and insight from Christine King Farris' writing about her brother the Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.

Big Idea

Students gain insight and understanding about the Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. from reading the story "My Brother Martin" by Christine King Farris.


1 minutes


14 minutes

I begin this lesson by explaining to my scholars that Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. is such an iconic, larger than life figure in American history that we sometimes forget that he was just an ordinary man who did extraordinary things.  He was a son, a brother, a husband, father, pastor, and so many other things to many other people.  Today, we will examine his relationship with his family, his leadership, and his destiny from the perspective of his beloved sister, Christine King Farris.   First, we will watch a short Brainpop video and take the quiz as a quick check for understanding.  (Teacher facilitates the quiz whole group and students show answers using sign language - a, b, c, d).  Click here to view the Brainpop video on Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.

Close Read

40 minutes

Next, we complete a close read of the story "My Brother Martin" by Christine King Farris, focusing on Tier 2 vocabulary, text-based questions, student-generated questions, and citing evidence.  I like doing close reads because they focus on the three key shifts - text complexity, citing evidence, and building knowledge.  The non-fiction text makes a cross-curricular social studies connection about an historical figure.


5 minutes

To close the lesson, I ask my students to think of one of their family members that they admire and write their name on a sheet of paper and list 3 reasons they admire that person.  When we shared their writings whole group, my students said they admired their parents, grandparents, aunts, uncles, brothers, and sisters.  Some reasons they gave included the fact that their parents work hard to take of them, brothers and sisters who excel in academics and sports, aunts and uncles who help them with homework, etc.