5 Read Alouds To Celebrate Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. for Primary Teachers

These are my favorite books to teach about and celebrate Dr. King. In my class, we talk about social justice a lot, and MLK day is no different. Here are some books to spark conversation with your students on this special holiday. If you don’t have access to these books, don’t worry, they are all available on YouTube!

My First Biography: Martin Luther King Jr. by Marion Dane Bauer

This book is a great introduction to Martin Luther King Jr. and the civil rights movement for preschool or primary students. This would also be a good independent reading book for Grades 2-4.

A Picture Book of Martin Luther King Jr. by David A. Adler

This book is a little longer, so for little ones, it could be helpful to read in two sessions. It goes into a lot of detail about the civil rights movement as well as Martin Luther King’s life and death in a way that is gentle enough for young ones. This book tells more about Dr. King as a child and teen, which kids always love to learn about.

Martin’s Big Words: The Life of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. by Doreen Rappaport

This is probably my favorite book about Dr. King. It is short, but powerful. It is beautifully written and illustrated and with quotes from Dr. King woven through the book. It has won several awards including the Caldecott Medal.

My Daddy, Martin Luther King, Jr. by Martin Luther King III

This book gives a whole new perspective on Dr. King. It is written by Martin Luther King Jr.’s son and shows the life and work of Dr. King through a child’s eyes. It’s a great read for young kids, especially if your class already has a lot of background knowledge about Dr. King.

Happy Birthday, Martin Luther King Jr. by Jean Marzollo

This book has beautiful realistic illustrations and is easy to understand for younger readers. It clearly explains his life and why we celebrate Martin Luther King on his birthday. This book is an F&P level L, so it could be an independent reading book for advanced readers. 

What are some of your favorite books about Dr. King? How do you celebrate him in your class? Comment below with your ideas.

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