I love having discussions about big topics with young kids. They have such wonderful perspectives and big hearts! Talking about influential people like Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. is one of the best ways to give children examples of leaders and talk with them about important topics.
Today I’m sharing a few of my favorite books to read aloud to my kindergartners when we’re discussing Martin Luther King Jr. I’m also sharing about a free kindness activity that is great to use around MLK Jr. Day, too!
Read Alouds for MLK Jr. Day
- Martin’s Big Words by Doreen Rappaport
This is a Caldecott Honor Book with beautiful illustrations by Bryan Collier. It’s a must-have for your classroom. As the title suggests, it incorporates many of Dr. King’s actual words as it tells his story.
- Martin Luther King, Jr. by Kitson Jazynka
This book has a lot of information and isn’t in a story format like Martin’s Big Words. I still like using it as a read aloud because it has great photographs and the text is written in a great way for young listeners.
- Martin Luther King Jr. Day by Margaret McNamara
This is a story about a class of first graders who visit a museum. They learn about Dr. King and once they return to their school, the students talk about their own dreams. It’s a sweet book that kids love to listen to and it leads to great discussions about dreams that they have.
- Martin Luther King Jr.: A Peaceful Leader by Sarah Albee
With beautiful illustrations by Chin Ko, this book has text that’s easy for kindergarteners to follow. It tells the story of Dr. King’s life in simple but engaging language. Be sure to show your students the real photographs included at the end of the book.
- I am Martin Luther King, Jr. by Brad Meltzer
This is part of a series of books about influential leaders. It’s another great read aloud that is easy to follow.
- A Picture Book of Martin Luther King, Jr by David A. Adler
This is another book that works as a good read aloud. It has a good amount of text on each page for this age group and beautiful illustrations by Robert Casilla.
This freebie is perfect to use as a follow-up to your class discussions about MLK Jr. Day. Students can draw or write to tell how they show kindness. There are multiple options for drawing and writing pages so it works for multiple age groups. Click here to grab the freebie!
Let me know in the comments if you use any of these books or the kindness activity! You can also tag me on Instagram (@kroltgen)!