History is complicated. There, I said it. The how and why and trying to understand logic when there was none is so hard to explain to children. Especially when we can’t exactly say “people are just stupid” to explain why stupid things were done. (Oh, I’m the only one who wants to say that? Oops!)
When approaching Martin Luther King Jr. Day this year, keep it simple. Introduce inclusivity and diversity in ways kids can understand in different age groups.
My favorite teaching moment for the day is non-violent resolutions for older kids. Role playing scenarios that can lead to conflict shows children how easily many situations could have and have ended tragically. It also forces them to think of reasonable changes to make when we have limited control of situations.
For little kids, I adore feelings conversations. He was a real man with real feelings and that is often overlooked when teaching about him. His ideals and speeches are idolized and memorized. However, we rarely discuss the emotional impact of the hate he received. As children age, more detail can be added to both the teaching and exercises.
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