The Carlisle Mosquito Online

Friday, January 13, 2006


Carlisle students learn about MLK, Jr.

Students at the Carlisle School begin learning about Martin Luther King, Jr. in kindergarten, well before the January 16 observance of his birthday which is, of course, a school holiday. The Mosquito asked Carlisle School Principal Stephen Goodwin about activities and lessons on Martin Luther King, Jr. "We try to not simply have students participate in a series of one-offs," he replied, "but rather have the learning experience be meaningful." He listed several examples.

In kindergarten students write an "I Dream" story and also work on a kindness quilt. First-grade students participate in selected read-alouds about MLK's life, while the second grade studies slavery; MLK, Jr.; Rosa Parks and Ruby Bridges. Students read and then write a story from the perspective of a slave.

Fifth-grade students read A March on Selma and sixth graders read Silent Lobby, a work of historical fiction. "When Rosa Parks passed on," recalled Goodwin, "they discussed her significance during Social Studies."

In eighth grade, students start a year-long unit on "identity." They have read or will be reading Langston Hughes poems including "We Were the Mask" and "Dream Deferred" and the book, A House on Mango Street, which offers many natural tie-ins regarding racial identify.

Of special interest in connection with Martin Luther King, Jr. is the much-anticipated appearance of storyteller Valerie Tutson at the Carlisle School on February 8. She will present two performances of "MLK: I Have a Dream" for grades K-4 and 5 -7.

During this week preceding the MLK holiday, Goodwin will "most likely read a short excerpt from one of Dr. King's speeches at the opening of school."

2006 The Carlisle Mosquito