Martin's Big Words

Book Summary: 

Martin Luther King Jr. always wanted to use big words, just like his dad.  Growing up in a racist society, his parents constantly reminded him that he was as good as anyone else. As Martin grew, so did his vocabulary, as did his understanding the world around him. Soon, Martin started speaking out for what he believed in: equality. Throughout the years, Martin protested for freedom, but rather than being violent with his words and actions, he used love and persistence to stand up for his beliefs. Martin’s big words continue to live on even after his death.

Doreen Rappaport
Bryan Collier
Hyperion Books for Children
Guiding Question: 

What is the best way to pursue equality?

Howard’s Format from You Can’t Teach What You Don’t Know (73-85): 

Honesty – Martin knew that violence would never lead to equality so while everyone continued fighting, Martin did the exact opposite, he decided to love. Do you think this would be hard to do: to show respect for people that despise you?  

Empathy – Martin constantly saw people around the country fighting for their freedom; he understood their cry for help. If a group of people were considered “lower” than everyone else in the world, how would you feel?

Advocacy – Along with your classroom, look up peaceful protests movements that occurred in past history. What’s a cause that’s getting a lot of attention right now, but isn’t gaining much progress? What are some ideas to progress this cause?

Action - Martin chose peaceful protesting as a way to fight for freedom. What’s one way you can pursue a goal that doesn’t involve hostility?