Check out my NY Times student interactive for English Language Learners on Martin Luther King, Jr. Students learn about idioms and respond to a writing prompt.

Martin Luther King’s birthday will soon be celebrated across the United States, and I thought a “The Best…” list on him would be timely and useful.

You might also be interested in The Best Resources To Remember Dr. Martin Luther King’s Death (& Life).


The Best Resources To Remember Dr. Martin Luther King’s Death (& Life)

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The Best Places To Learn About President Obama’s Life

The Best Resources For Learning About The “Freedom Riders”

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You might also be interested in The Best Sites For Learning About The Martin Luther King Memorial.

Here are my choices for The Best Websites About Martin Luther King (not in order of preference):

* The audio, and text, of his I Have A Dream Speech, hosted by American Rhetoric.  Here’s another site that has a similar presentation.

* Another excellent listening exercise, time using a short biography of King.

* A short King biography, time from the Library of Congress.

* A Many short videos of King from the Biography Channel.

* Scholastic has information and a slideshow at The Legacy Of A Leader.

* EL Civics has a online lesson on King.

* Enchanted Learning has some very simple resources on King.

* Here’s an online lesson for English Language Learners about King from Famous People Lessons. Its sister site has a lesson on Martin Luther King Day.

* The King Center has many resources, though few are ELL accessible.

* The New York Times has another slideshow.

The New York Times Learning Network has a collection of lesson plans that could be modified for ELL’s.

Do’s and Don’ts of Celebrating MLK Day is another good guide from Teaching Tolerance.

While a college student in 1947, Martin Luther King also wrote a column in the campus newspaper and titled it “The Purpose of Education.”  You can read the complete piece at Stanford’s collection of his papers), and it might be a useful article for the classroom.

The History Channel has several videos on Dr. King.

How Stuff Works has some videos, too.

ESOL Courses has an impressive collection of Online Exercises and Printable Worksheets related to King.

Interview With Martin Luther King, Jr. On The Mike Douglas Show Is Very Interesting

Day of service honors Martin Luther King Jr. is from CNN.

Six Leadership Communication Lessons from Martin Luther King, Jr.

MLK Jr.: His life, his monument and why we celebrate him is an infographic from the Orange County Register.

What Has Each Of Us Done Lately To Bend The “Arc Of The Moral Universe”?

English Central has a nice collection of King videos.

MLK Support For Economic Justice Overshadowed By ‘I Have A Dream’ Speech

Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.- Assassination and Legacy is from a radio program originating from the Canadian Broadcasting Corporation. It’s an hour-long piece on him, but what really stands out is a short recorded conversation broadcasters had with him in his hotel room right before his assassination. King provides what I believe is the best explanation of civil disobedience I have ever heard, and I speak from a fair amount of experience with it when I spent seven years with the Catholic Worker Movement long ago. You have to register — for free — in order to listen to the program, but it’s well worth it if you are ever going to teach about civil disobedience.

The greatest MLK speeches you never heard is from CNN.

Thanks to Jere Hochman for next one:

Quote Of The Day: “How We Get Dr. King Wrong”


Video: I Hope The New Martin Luther King, Jr. Movie Is As Good As It Looks

The Zinn Education Project has a great collection.

The Guardian has a nice interactive on King’s I Have A Dream speech.

10 ways to be like Martin Luther King after Ferguson is from MSNBC.

King’s Last March is from American RadioWorks.

What Martin Luther King Jr. Was Like as a Child is from TIME.

Four Resources for Exploring Media Literacy Through the Legacy of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. is from KQED.

Quote Of The Day: “MLK’s prophetic call for economic justice”

With The Appropriate Background Knowledge, This Could Be A Good MLK Writing Prompt

The History Channel has a decent curriculum guide.

Group Invokes Martin Luther King Jr To Push Anti-Immigrant Message is from Think Progress.

An Unsettled Chapter in Martin Luther King’s Legacy is from The New York Times.

Ten Things You Should Know About Selma Before You See the Film is from Common Dreams.

The National Writing Project has a number of related resources.

Second Quote Of The Day: “What, To the Black American, Is Martin Luther King Jr. Day?”

Quotes & Resources For #MLKDAY

Articles & Question Sets on Martin Luther King, Jr., from

Five myths about Martin Luther King is from The Washington Post.

Read Write Think has some useful lesson ideas.

Martin Luther King, Teachers’ Unions and Social Justice is by Yohuru Williams.

5 Minute English has a simple lesson.

ESOL Courses has some ELL-accessible resources.

Digital Tools to Inspire Your Students on Martin Luther King, Jr. Day is from Facing History.

Four Resources for Exploring Media Literacy Through the Legacy of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. is from KQED.

6 ways to meaningfully honor Martin Luther King Jr. Day is from Mashable.

Lin-Manuel Miranda, the creator of “Hamilton The Musical” just went back to his elementary school to sing a song about Martin Luther King, Jr. I learned about it through Katherine Schulten

Here are the lyrics to the song:

music and lyrics by Barbara Ames

Martin Luther King (Martin Luther King)
Was a man with a dream (was a man with a dream)
And he took his dream (and he took his dream)
to the mountaintop, oh yeah
He soared to the sun
And he warmed everyone
The love he’s sending down will never stop (will never stop)
He taught us, “We shall overcome,
Overcome it if we try.”
He left us with his song half-sung
still ringing from the sky (ringing from the sky)
Martin Luther King (Martin Luther King)
Was a man with a dream (was a man with a dream)
And he took his dream (and he took his dream)
to the mountaintop, oh yeah
He soared to the sun
And he warmed everyone
The love he’s sending down will never stop
will never stop
will never stop

Celebrating Martin Luther King Day is from The New York Times Learning Network (it’s different from another resource page they have previously published).

Race, Civil Rights and Photography is from The New York Times.

Martin Luther King probably would have hated what his day has come to represent is from Quartz.

What Would Martin Say? is by Yohuru Williams.

Read the letter the FBI sent MLK to try to convince him to kill himself is from Vox.

3 parts you don’t remember from Martin Luther King’s “I Have a Dream” speech is also from Vox.

A Picture of Dr. King as a Child is by Doug Lemov.

When Martin Luther King was accused of inciting violence is from Vox.

11 forgotten Martin Luther King quotes that show he was a revolutionary is also from Vox.

5 facts about race in America is from Pew Research.

A Simple Writing Prompt To Accompany Martin Luther King, Jr.’s Essay, “The Purpose Of Education”

Videos Of Lin-Manuel Miranda & Chris Rock Reading MLK, Jr. & James Baldwin

The Unmet Dreams of Martin Luther King, Jr. and the Civil Rights Movement (includes Lesson Plan) is from KQED.

Martin Luther King, Jr.: 50 Years Worth of Lessons From a Giant is from Facing History.

Going the Extra Mile for MLK Day is from Teaching Tolerance.

Multiple related teaching resources from the PBS News Hour.

This is a great quote to have students respond to in writing – What do they think he means by it? Do they agree? Support your position with your experiences, observations and other readings

King appears to have actually adapted and modified it from both the Bible and a Langston Hughes poem

Important Video: Martin Luther King, Jr. Address To Junior High School Students, “What Is Your Life’s Blueprint?”

The Life and Words of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. is a well-done interactive.

PBS has a lesson on King that isn’t really that great, but teachers might want to take pieces and modify them.




Don’t Forget That Martin Luther King Jr. Was Once Denounced as an Extremist is from TIME.

Martin Luther King, Jr. & Car Commercials

Martin Luther King Jr. Changed a Nation in Only 13 Years: A timeline is from The Atlantic.

The Whitewashing — and Resurrection — of Dr. King’s Legacy is from TIME Magazine.

What King Said About Northern Liberalism is from The NY Times.

The Consequences of Martin Luther King Jr.’s Canonization is from The Atlantic.

MLK: MOUNTAINTOP MOMENTS is from The History Channel.

Teaching and Learning About Martin Luther King Jr. With The New York Times

Even Though He Is Revered Today, MLK Was Widely Disliked by the American Public When He Was Killed is from Smithsonian.

The one thing about Martin Luther King Jr.’s greatness everyone keeps missing is from CNN.

Remembering Ella Baker on Martin Luther King Day is from The NY Times.

Martin Luther King Jr.: His life in pictures is from NBC News.

Martin Luther King, Jr. Gave His “Mountaintop” Speech 52 Years Ago Today – Here Are Teaching & Learning Resources

The Youthful Movement That Made Martin Luther King Jr. appeared in The NY Times.

The Words of Martin Luther King Jr. Reverberate in a Tumultuous Time is from The NY Times.

Don’t ask what Martin Luther King Jr. would do today and then ignore his real message is from Vox.

Embrace These 4 Lessons From Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr to Effectively Lead Today is particularly accessible to students, and is from Inc.

More Than a Dream: How to Teach King’s Famous, and Often Simplified, Speech is from Ed Week.

Teaching a More Complete Picture of MLK is from Smithsonian Magazine.

Op-Ed: King was a critical race theorist before there was a name for it is from The L.A. Times.

The interesting history of the real name of Martin Luther King Jr. – and why it was changed is from USA Today.

Here’s yet another resource from The NY Times Learning Network.

How Martin Luther King, Jr. is Taught in Schools is from TIME.

Teaching a More Complete Picture of MLK is from Smithsonian Magazine.

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You might also find my 900 other “The Best…” lists useful.