Grade: Elementary

#774. Martin Luther King, Jr.

Social Studies, level: Elementary
Posted Tue Jan 5 07:21:58 PST 1999 by RHL (
RHL School
RHL School, U.S.
Materials Required: Provided
Activity Time: 40 minutes
Concepts Taught: Racial equality; Rejecting violence as a tactic

Note: Vocabulary for this page is introduced at

Martin Luther King, Jr.

You faced injustice, hate and strife.
You fought for what should be.
You risked and finally gave your life,
So others could be free.

You could have hated, but you chose
To love and understand,
Rejecting violence to oppose
An evil in our land.

You'd not inflame, but still inspire,
With hope that wouldn't yield.
You called for boycotts, not for fire,
With faith your only shield.

You marched in protest for the poor
Of every shade and hue.
So many hardships you'd endure
For those who needed you.

You stirred a nation's heart and mind;
Your message still is clear:
That color's not how we're defined.
Your memory's always near.

Each year your birth's a holiday.
The nation honors you,
And wonders when we'll see the day
Your dream at last comes true.


For discussion:

1. What are the important points that the author makes in the poem. Summarize the poem in your own words.

2. Most, but not all, people believe that Dr. King deserves a holiday in his honor. What do you think, and why?

Copyright 1998 RHL