Although Martin Luther King Day isn’t commonly celebrated in the UK, it gives us a fantastic opportunity to celebrate diversity and inclusion in early years setting, especially in a pre-school room. In America it falls on the 3rd Monday in January, so this year MLK day is January 20th 2014. Martin Luther King Jr was a truly inspirational man who was famous for his speeches about equality and inclusion, these are the ideals that practitioners work to embody and instil everyday in their settings.
There are many ways that we can celebrate MLK day and below are just a few:
🇺🇸 Utilise technology – whether it be a computer or a tablet, in this day and age the recordings of Martin Luther King Jrs speeches are only a click away. So get clicking, whether it be circle time or if you have TV time, let the children watch the I have a dream speech and talk about it and let them ask questions. If you don’t know the answers you can look for them together online.
🇺🇸 Let the children dream – You can encourage them to draw, paint or write, you could even include the use of a computer or a tablet, but encourage them to think about what their hopes and dreams are and let them express them.
🇺🇸 Public speaking – Martin Luther King Jr was known for his public speaking, not all children are confident enough to express themselves in public or have the language skills to do so. So encourage them to do so and support them in their efforts, encourage them to stand up and tell the group some news or a story during circle time or if you have particularly shy children, split them into smaller groups.
🇺🇸 We are all the same on the inside – Prove this to your class with a little experiment. Get a white egg and a brown egg and get the children to crack them open and show them how they are the same on the inside the same as we are, you could even do this as part of a baking activity, remember always be aware of allergies as well as hygiene.
🇺🇸 Kindness is the key – Create a kindness jar, you could do this for a day, a week or keep it as a permanent fixture. At the start of your day during circle time, register or however you start your day introduce the jar, talk about why we should be kind to others and how we can be kind to others. Then throughout the day let the children write down (or if they aren’t at that level yet you can write them for them) acts of kindness they have done for others and at the end of the day get them to read them out or you can read them out to the group.
I hope this inspires some of you to celebrate MLK day this year and I would love to hear any more ideas anyone has on ways to celebrate this brilliant day.
Love Early Education
Love, Kylie x