Lesson Plan

What Does an Activist Do?

Ask an important question this month: What does an activist do? This engaging lesson can be used leading up to Martin Luther King Jr. Day (and year-round). It supports students in understanding what it means to be an activist and how Martin Luther King Jr. used collaborative action to change the world and speak out against oppression. Perfect for first graders and second graders, this activity explores word meaning and other reading and writing skills.
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Learning Objectives

  • Students will be able to define academic vocabulary words connected to the story.
  • Students will be able to identify the main purpose of a text.


(3 minutes)
  • Gather the students together in a circle.
  • Show the students a picture of Martin Luther King Jr. and ask them to turn and talk to a partner and complete one of the following sentence frames:
  • "I know this person. This is ________. He is important because ________."
  • "I don't know this person. I'm wondering ________."

Related Guided Lesson

Vocabulary 1

6 games
5 printable worksheets
View Guided Lesson
second grade
Subject Reading & Writing