Martin Luther King, Jr. STEM and STEAM Activities

Martin Luther King, Jr. STEM and STEAM Activities

Are your finding time to teach social studies?

Finding time for social studies was a struggle for me when I was in the classroom. As a teacher in a testing grade, I felt the pressure to spend the majority of my instructional minutes on math and language arts topics.

It doesn’t have to be this way! Fortunately, I found a way to integrate social studies with my math and language arts lessons through STEM!

Teach about Martin Luther King, Jr. this month with STEM activities that incorporate, reading, writing, math, and making!

MARTIN LUTHER KING, JR. STEM ACTIVITY

Material List:

  • 1 sheet of paper (preferably card stock)

  • 1 piece of tape (24 in. long)

  • scissors

  • 1 cutout of Martin Luther King, Jr.

  • 1 binder clip (to use as a stand for the MLK cutout)

  • 4 straws

  • ruler

Divide students into groups of 2-3.

Begin the activity by watching the “I Have a Dream Speech” in order to help students develop some background knowledge. After watching, explain to students that their challenge is to build a podium for Martin Luther King, Jr.

The podium must stand on its own, must be in the shape of a rectangular prism, and it must be 4 inches tall. As an added challenge for older engineers have them build their podium using the following dimensions: 2 in. by 2 in. squares for the top and bottom and 2 in. by 4in. rectangles for the sides.

Give students 10 minutes to plan individually and then 10 minutes to plan as a team. Give students the materials listed above. Students will have 30 minutes to construct a podium for Martin Luther King, Jr. At the end of the time limit test the podiums by measuring each one.

This activity is a great way to get students engaged in STEM and social studies! For more information, in depth teacher instructions, student handouts, a STEM journal, and student planning and reflection pages, view the full resource HERE.

MARTIN LUTHER KING, JR. STEAM ACTIVITY

Material List:

Divide students into groups of 2-3.

Before beginning the activity read Martin’s Big Words by Doreen Rappaport in order to help students develop some background knowledge. After reading, explain to students that their challenge is to choose one of Martin’s big words and write it on the graph paper. Each letter of the word must be made up of complete boxes (for more of a challenge allow students to use half boxes as well).

Have students choose a word that represents what Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. stood for. For longer words, students may need to tape two pieces of graph paper together. Allow students approximately 10-20 minutes to plan their design.

Students will have approximately 30 minutes to create their word (shorten or lengthen the time limit depending on the ages and needs of your students). Have students color their word with crayons, markers, or colored pencils. At the end of the challenge have students find the area and perimeter of each letter in the word as well as the total area and perimeter.

Easily integrate STEM and social studies this month with this Martin Luther King, Jr. STEAM Activity! For more information, in depth teacher instructions, student handouts, a STEM journal, and student planning and reflection pages, view the full resource HERE.

For more STEM ideas, inspiration, and collaboration with other STEM teachers be sure to join our FREE Facebook group the STEM Teachers Club!

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