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Carroll County schools celebrate Martin Luther King Jr. through lessons and activities

Martin Luther King Jr.’s legacy is being celebrated within Carroll County Public Schools through a host of lessons about the civil rights leader’s life, principles and his message about equality.

While CCPS is closed on Monday for the Martin Luther King Jr. Day holiday, students have started assignments and critical-thinking activities on King in the past week. Some schools will continue those lessons this week.

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Grade levels at Ebb Valley Elementary school have different MLK Day related assignment.

Kindergarten and first grade are reading a book about King, second grade is watching a movie about him and third grade is using text about King to learn about cause and effect.

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Principal Justin Watts said he and staff like to connect MLK topics to what’s happening today. He added it’s important for kids to know “how far we’ve come and how we’re continuing to push forward.”

Watts mentioned the fifth grade writing prompt assignment where students will answer “In what ways is Martin Luther King Jr’s. dream still alive today?” He said it can ensure that King’s dream lives on through kids, who have the power to shape what America will be like.

First graders at Westminster Elementary will learn about King in social studies class, second grade will read and watch a video about his life, fourth graders will read about his achievements and write their own “I Have a Dream” speech and fifth grade will complete a timeline on his life.

Whitney Warner, principal of the school, said her favorite lesson will be the music classes that will explore King’s actions through song.

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She said songs can help students remember the information better and can “stick with you more.”

The principal said both virtual and in-person students can participate in the activities.

Here are some of the activities students are doing around the county:

Cranberry Station Elementary School

• First grade students will identify events in the life of King through big books and small reading group materials. They will read and discuss “The Story of Martin Luther King, Jr.” in order to understand his contributions to America.

East Middle School

• Social studies teachers will compare King to Indian independence leader Mahatma Gandhi because they are in the India unit and have learned about Hinduism.

Francis Scott Key High School

• A social studies teacher weaves King’s narrative into content such as Apartheid, women’s movements, and serfdom. He also connects King’s “I Have a Dream” speech with 19th century European philosophy and postmodernism.

• A social studies teacher has put together videos about King’s last speech (“Mountain Top”). Students will discuss whether we have reached the mountain top and what needs to happen for us to get there. He will relate the speech to the present situations.

Friendship Valley Elementary School

• Kindergartners will discuss King’s accomplishments, first grade will learn about King and grades 3, 4, and 5 will have MLK read-alouds.

Gateway School

• A social studies class will read “Letter from Birmingham Jail” and look at the context of King’s ideas on nonviolent protest and racial equality.

• Lauren Ricketts will use material from PBS, discuss examples of social injustice before the 1964 Civil Rights Movement and compare it with what’s going on today.

Hampstead Elementary School

• Pre-K viewed a short video and reviewed an emergent reader about Martin Luther King Jr.

• Kindergarten participated in All About Martin Luther King activities.

Linton Springs Elementary School

• ELA teachers are working with students to read two texts on King while focusing on the causes and effects of his actions.

• The fourth grade students are creating “How Can I Promote Peace” shirts to display on a hallway bulletin board.

Manchester Elementary School

• Teachers suggested planning a dinner where foods from many different ethnic origins are served. Extra credit is given to students who set up an international music playlist to accompany the feast.

• Grade levels will share stories, videos and the “I Have a Dream” speech, as well as a writing prompt with students identifying leadership qualities in King.

Manchester Valley High School

• A social studies teacher, will be doing a short highlight on the life of King at the start of each class.

Mt. Airy Elementary School

• Grade 5 is teaching a lesson using Google slides on “How can we honor his legacy?”

• Students will view a video about MLK, followed by an interactive quiz.

Mt. Airy Middle School

• In sixth grade social studies, students are listening to songs written about King’s legacy that include archival footage of his life, listening to parts of his famous speeches, investigating Jim Crow laws here in the state of Maryland and identifying what dreams students would like to share that will lead to a greater, more inclusive America.

Northwest Middle School

• A social studies will show a clip of the “I Have a Dream” speech, which is very on topic since students have been discussing the Constitution, democracy, rights, freedoms, and equality.

Oklahoma Road Middle School

• Sixth graders will watch a short video and analyze a few of King’s famous quotes. The social studies teacher will tie his beliefs to Gandhi and Hinduism since the class is in their ancient India unit.

Parr’s Ridge Elementary School

• Teachers presented three social studies lessons on King during the week of Jan. 8, that focused on his life, dream and how they could make a difference with their own dreams.

• Kindergarten, first grade and second grade students read material and watched a video about King.

Runnymede Elementary School

• Grade levels included read-alouds of books on MLK, his writings, and ELA tasks in Google Classroom.

• Kindergarten sang songs that talk about MLK as well as basic facts about his life.

Sandymount Elementary School

• Grade 5 created a PowerPoint presentation and had a discussion.

Shiloh Middle School

• King is being recognized during morning announcements and Words of Wisdom.

South Carroll High School

• Students are studying the Civil Rights Movement and will be discussing King.

Spring Garden Elementary School

• Individual classes are reading stories about King and completing writing assignments.

Taneytown Elementary School

• The first grade team is teaching about King, specifically his message, and how they can apply his teachings to their daily lives.

• Students learned about King the week of Jan. 8 and will brainstorm the following week how his teachings can be applied to their lives.

West Middle School

• Social studies teachers will share videos on King, lead a discussion about him, volunteering and encourage students to think of ways on giving back to the community.

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Winters Mill High School

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• A social studies teacher, is highlighting King and the Civil Rights Movement in connection to the Cold War. Classes are discussing the impact of the use of Red Scare to diminish efforts, as well as the ideas of postwar Democracy and the need to reflect ideals as the U.S. influences others.

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