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MLK Tribute Lesson Plan

Objective: Students will learn about stereotypes, prejudice, and bias as well as Martin Luther
King Jrs role in our lives today.

Worksheets for stereotypes/prejudices/biases-provided by Ms. Pollpeter
Small pad of paper to use on balloons-provided by Ms. Pollpeter
Minimum of 5 balloons- provided by Ms. Pollpeter
Thumb tack/safety pin for popping the balloons-provided by Ms. Pollpeter
laptops/projector-provided by Mrs. Arenz and St. Columbkille

Part 1/Anticipatory Set: Zootopia and Vocabulary
Raise your hand if you have seen the movie Zootopia. What is the movie about?
What happens to the main characters? Etc. Students should get at the idea that Judy
Hopps (the rabbit) overcomes the idea that rabbits shouldnt be cops and Nick Wilde (the
fox) overcomes the idea that people always see foxes as bad, sly animals.
When we classify people into certain groups, do you know what we call this?...For
example, all foxes cannot be trusted. We call this a stereotype. Do we learn during the
movie that this is not true? Absolutely!
At the beginning of the movie, did Judy Hopps have to work very hard to become a
police officer? Yes, but when she went in for her first day of work, did it seem like the
chief liked her? No. How do we know this? (He ignored her, wasnt nice to her, etc).
Did he take the time to get to know her at all before he treated her like this? No. He
had an opinion about rabbits being police officers even though he had never
experienced it before. We call this a prejudice.
The chief did not think that rabbits should be police officers so what did he do? He did
not give her a big job like everyone else. He gave her the job as the meter maid. Was
that fair? Why was it not fair? This means that he showed a bias against rabbits. A bias
is when someone acts in favor of or against someone because of the prejudice they
have about them.
What other stereotypes can you think of in the movie? Talk with the people around you.
Ask students to think about how people acted on the stereotypes/prejudices they had.
Ask students to share what connections they made to the movie.

Part 2: Balloon Activity

Now that we have thought about stereotypes, prejudices, and biases in Zootopia, lets
think about them in real life. I will give you an example of a stereotype. One might be
All tall people are good at basketball. Is this stereotype true? No! There are many tall
people that are not good at basketball. We might act on this stereotype by being bias
when we pick them first for teams. Is this fair? No.
I am handing out a sheet with spots for stereotypes, prejudices, and biases. Talk with
your group and think of a stereotype, the prejudice that goes along with it, and the bias
we might have.
Give students time to discuss. If students need ideas, provide them with the following
o Anyone who wears glasses is smart.
o All Americans love football.
o All kids who like computers are geeky.
o All girls are not as athletic as boys.
Once your group has come up with a few examples, pick one stereotype and write it on
a sticky note and tape it to one of the balloons.
After each group has placed a note on a balloon, read each stereotype aloud and have a
group discussion about if the stereotype is true, what prejudices we might have about it,
and how we act upon them (bias). Once each example is discussed, draw a students
name at random and have them pop the balloon. Discuss with students how we know
this stereotype is not true so we are going to pop or burst the stereotype. Continue
with each example until all balloons are popped.

Part 3: Dr. Kings Life

Now we are going to think about real life examples in history of when there has been
stereotypes, prejudice, and bias.
I would like everyone with blue eyes to stand up. What if I said that you all have to go
downstairs to use the bathroom or get a drink, and that you cannot play in the same
area as the other kids at recess because you have blue eyes?
o Is that fair? Absolutely not! Do you get to control your eye color? No and that
should not affect what you get to do in life.
o Have students sit down.
In the 1950s and 60s (almost 50-60 years), this same thing was happening with African
Americans across the country. They were not allowed to do the same things like use the
same bathroom as other people because they had different colored skin.
African Americans knew that this was wrong so they took a stand. We call this the Civil
Rights Movement. We are going to look more into the Civil Rights Movement and an
important person during that time by starting an investigation.
Ask students to get laptops (if they are not available, the students will work through the
Weebly as projected on the board).
You will be working on an investigation by going through this website. If you have any
questions, raise your hand and I will be happy to help. Use the investigation journals I
am passing out as a way to help you. Once you have completed everything, you will
move onto the next big step.
Website URL: http://beyondthedreamtask.weebly.com/
Part 4: Project

Once students have finished their journal, they will be given directions on how to
complete the final project.


Review journal as a class for any questions and discuss any questions on the final


Students will turn in final project.

My Lifetime
1. What was segregation?


2. Was segregation fair? What vocabulary word did we learn that it reminds you of and why?




3. What is Martin Luther King Jrs most famous speech?


4. Did Martin Luther King Jr do more than just give this speech? Write down 2 examples of things

he did.
1. ________________________________________________________________________
2. ________________________________________________________________________
5. What prize did Martin Luther King Jr win during his lifetime? Why do you think he won this?





My Sayings
1. What is one saying that meant something to you? Why?





A Visit to Iowa
1. Did Martin Luther King Jr encourage peace or violence? How do you know this?



2. Think about what Martin Luther King Jr said during one of his speeches in Iowa. What is an example of

a time that you could live out what he was calling for Americans to do?






Now that you have learned about Martin Luther King Jr and his impact on our
country and in Iowa, you have the chance to share what you learned! Create a
piece of original work that explains what Martin Luther King Jrs message
means for Iowans today and how all Americans are equal. You can write a
poem, essay, short story, or reflection on his impact in your life. If you have other
ideas, talk with Ms. Pollpeter or Mrs. Arenz! You will also write answers to the
following questions:
1. Write a brief paragraph telling what you now KNOW about the theme.
2. Write a brief paragraph telling what you now can DO because of working on
this project.
3. Write a brief paragraph telling how you think about the world differently
because of your study of Martin Luther King Jr.

Emily Pollpeter

MLK Lesson Reflection

Intermediate Clinical

MLK Lesson Reflection

I struggled to figure out how to teach this lesson because there were so many parts. The

students were being asked to submit a project for a contest about MLK but they did not have all

the background knowledge that the project required. I was told that the students would need the

most instruction on what stereotypes, biases, and prejudices are along with MLKs visits to Iowa.

I was especially worried about making sure that students understood the concepts without

a student saying something that may be taken as offensive. I eventually decided to separate the

lesson into a few parts. I started with discussing stereotypes, biases, and prejudices through a

movie that I knew would be familiar to the students. We discussed Zootopia along with the

characters and what struggles they faced in regards to the learning objectives. This helped

narrow down the discussion to something they could grasp. Afterwards, we discussed situations

that the students might face in their lives. I asked them to think about what stereotypes they face

and scaffolded it by giving them an example. From there, they created their own in groups and

then were able to tape them on balloons. We discussed each stereotype, how it might become a

prejudice or bias, and if it was true. Finally, students were able to pop the balloon to symbolize

bursting the stereotype.

I then introduced them to examples in history by discussing the Civil Rights movement.

During the next lesson, we used a Weebly site I created to explore Martin Luther King Jrs life

and his visit to Iowa. I created a journal for students to complete while exploring the website

which helped guide them.

The lesson went very well and the students were engaged constantly. Students were able

to engage in whole group settings by participating in large discussions, in small group settings by

discussing in their table pods, and by working individually with the Weebly site. I believe that

having students think about examples in their own lives (ex. Boys are messier than girls.) helped
identify what stereotypes they may not even notice. Some students even found themselves or

their classmates saying stereotypes and correcting them!

If I had more time, I would have liked to have my students reflect on how they can battle

stereotypes they face. I would include a small in class assignment to help them realize that

stereotypes are everywhere and important to recognize. Overall, I thought that the lesson went

very well and took very complex ideas and made them very relevant to 5th grade students. I

would definitely use this lesson again!