Students at Bush Elementary School got more out of Martin Luther King Jr. Day than a day off from school.
In the weeks leading up to the national holiday, students in Amanda Sischo's first-grade class spent time learning about the life and times of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. himself.
According to Sischo, the students read a book entitled "Martin's Big Words," by Doreen Rappaport, and watched two separate videos about King in order to familiarize themselves with his legacy.
First-grade students at Bush Elementary School hold hands as they pose beneath an illustrated picture of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. The students read and interpreted King’s “I Have A Dream” speech, then wrote about their own dreams for the world.
P-J photo by Gavin Paterniti
"There was a holiday video that we watched first," said Sischo. "They were so excited about the video that they wanted to watch it three more times throughout the week. So, we fit it in a couple more times and had another class join us, as well. After we watched the video for the first time, we read 'Martin's Big Words' and then we watched the video of the book. We also watched the entire 'I Have A Dream' speech (on Thursday) to wrap everything up."
Based on the information that they gathered, the class then created a writing project. Each student's project began with the words, "According to the story 'Martin's Big Words,' Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. had a dream. His dream was ..." The students then filled in their interpretation of King's dream.
"He wanted all black people and all white people to get along," said Annie Conroe.
"He wanted everybody to be kind and be friends," said Mattea Spitzer.
"He wanted the black children and the white children to hold hands," said Charlotte Davis.
After filling out this portion, the students continued their project following the words, "I have a dream, too. My dream is ..." The children then wrote down what they would like to see in the world.
"... for strangers to stop kidnapping people," said Tyler Maloney.
"... for everybody to stop fighting," said Andres Pacheco.
"... for people that don't like each other to still get along," said Tacara Baker.
The writing projects were written into word bubbles which were then pasted to a construction paper background, above a picture of each student's head, to illustrate dreaming. The projects were then put on display in the hallway outside the classroom, flanking an illustration of King from "Martin's Big Words" in the center.