Teaching the legacy of MLK in the Lower School
Emily Kutz, Lower School Intern

During the week of January 18th, Lower School students celebrated the life and work of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. From Kinder 1 to grade five, students explored the impact he made, as well as how we can continue his critical work within our community and the world as a whole. 

Kinder 1 and Kinder 2 students enjoyed learning about Dr. King through the story Martin's Big Words: The Life of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. by Doreen Rappaport. They studied the illustrations in the story by Bryan Collier to understand the history of protesting and how we can use our words to fight for what is right. 

In Kinder 3, students studied how the story It's Ok to be Different by Todd Parr relates to the work of Dr. King against racism. They illustrated the ways in which they are different and then discussed why it is important to stand up for other people and celebrate their differences. 

In the first through fifth grades, students further explored the deeper meanings of Dr. King's work and how they can make their own positive contributions to society. Classes enjoyed listening to Dr. King's famous ¨I Have a Dream¨ speech and shared their own dreams for their communities, families, and friends, through writing and illustration. They explored peaceful protesting through the read-aloud We March by Shane W. Evans and then created their own protest signs as well as podiums using STEM materials. Many classes connected the work of Dr. King with Black Lives Matter and the recent inauguration of the first female, Black, Asian Vice President of the United States, as well as injustices they see within their own communities. 

While this is just a glimpse into one week in the Lower School, teachers are engaging in Anti-Bias Anti-Racist work all year at ASM. They are helping each other to represent the critical work of Dr. King each day in their classrooms to ultimately continue to build ASM students into well-rounded world citizens.