Each January, we honor and remember the life and impact of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. He is renowned for his dedication to civil rights, advocating through non-violent means, and for his inspiring speeches and writings. Dr. King’s enduring influence on social justice and human rights continues to resonate today as we celebrate Martin Luther King Jr. Day in 2024.   

We stand in solidarity with everyone who honors, reflects upon, and memorializes Dr. King, especially on January 15, his birthday. Here are some ways that you can honor and teach your students about Dr. King:  

  • Dedicate the day to community service 
  • Participate in local or national events 
  • Delve into a deeper understanding of Dr. King's various commitments and ideals through his writings or speeches 
  • Share about Dr. King with others  

Microsoft encourages you to take a moment to contemplate Dr. King's legacy, accomplishments, and historical and cultural significance. Let's explore how to celebrate Dr. King in your classroom.   

Minecraft: Immerse in civil rights history

Minecraft Education stands out as a popular immersive learning platform for young learners. Introduce your students to the Who is Dr. MLK Jr.? immersive world, where they will collaboratively learn about Dr. King’s life and legacy through guided questions, emphasizing an understanding of his identity and influence. Working together, students will craft museum galleries illustrating the various facets of Dr. King.  

To enhance the experience, consider pairing it with the Minecraft Good Trouble: U.S. Civil Rights lesson, an additional resource to introduce your students to prominent civil rights leaders and events. Further engage students by exploring inspirational stories and portraits of American civil rights activists. Elevate the learning journey by encouraging students to select a highlighted figure for deeper exploration using Search Coach, a tool specifically crafted to assist students in developing essential information literacy skills and locating reliable sources.  

Minecraft block version of the Edmund Pettus Bridge in Selma, Alabama, with civil rights protesters lined up on the adjacent sidewalk.

Depiction of the Edmund Pettus Bridge in Selma, Alabama from Minecraft Good Trouble: US Civil Rights Lesson. 

App smash Learning Accelerators 

Learning Accelerators are a set of learning tools included in Microsoft 365 Education designed to provide students with personalized real-time coaching as they develop essential skills, including information and reading literacies. Combining, or "app smashing," multiple tools from this category enhances the overall learning experience and outcomes.   

To begin, use Search Coach to locate digital sources related to Dr. King's life or excerpts from his speeches. Next, download the passage and create a Reading Progress assignment within Microsoft Teams for Education. Reading Progress offers an inclusive and personalized platform for students to refine their reading skills, supplying actionable data for addressing individual needs. Built-in tools such as Immersive Reader enable translation or read-aloud features. Additionally, Reading Coach makes a set of challenging words for each student, fostering further practice and skill development.  

Explore curiosity and teach about Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. with Wonderopolis 

Ignite your students' curiosity and teach them about Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. by introducing Wonderopolis articles that address fundamental questions such as Who Was Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.? and What Is a Civil Right?. Crafted in elementary-appropriate language, each article is accompanied by discussion questions and relevant vocabulary. Immersive Reader is built into Wonderopolis giving students an accessible experience through translation, read-aloud, and other features that cater to your students’ diverse learning needs.  

The read aloud feature in Immersive Reader with the “Who Was Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.?” Wonderopolis article.

Using the read aloud feature in Immersive Reader with the “Who Was Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.?” Wonderopolis article. 

Curate a collaborative video library to teach your students about Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. 

Access online videos of Dr. King's iconic speeches, such as "I Have a Dream" and "I Have Been to the Mountain Top," as well as various biographies. Promote active participation by setting up a Channel, Conversation, or Assignment within Teams for Education. This platform empowers students to curate, view, and engage in discussions about these impactful videos.

Consider using Microsoft Stream or Flip to record yourself reading various books or creating a shared playlist for students to explore. This interactive approach enhances the learning experience, offering an opportunity for students to engage with the content in a more dynamic and personalized manner.   

Connect through Flip 

Flip, a platform designed for video-based classroom discussions, offers students a secure and accessible space to express their ideas. Educators can share the Celebrating the Life and Legacy of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. topic, remix content from Flip’s Discovery Library, or create a new discussion through Flip’s built-in Topic Copilot.  

Teacher view of the “Celebrating the Life and Legacy of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.” discussion topic in Flip.

"Celebrating the Life and Legacy of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.” discussion topic in Flip. 

Take a moment to explore the curated Celebrate Black History Flip Discovery Library Collection, featuring ready-to-launch topics that enable students to learn, honor, and celebrate Black History. This collection includes contributions from partners like The National WWII Museum, Amplify Voices, Langston League, The Equal Justice Initiative, and more, along with submissions from educators across various grade levels and subjects.  

Extend the conversation into Black History Month by participating in the Learning from the Past, Shaping the Future: Discovering Black History through Digital Innovation Flip Live Event on February 21, 2024. This event provides an opportunity for students to discover how virtual museums, Flip, and AI can be used to explore and celebrate the rich and diverse heritage of Black culture in America and worldwide. Register for the event to take a journey through black history and culture with your class.  

Celebrating Mrs. Coretta Scott King 

Take a moment to spotlight Mrs. Coretta Scott King as you celebrate the legacy of the King family. The King Center Timeline is an unparalleled collection that documents the evolution, history, and influence of The King Center, showcasing the global contributions of its founder, Mrs. Coretta Scott King. Dive into the timeline to emphasize significant moments in Mrs. King's life, focusing on themes like persistence, activism, nonviolence, and the preservation of history. Finally, watch the Flip Event video A tribute to Mrs. Coretta Scott King with her daughter Dr. Bernice A. King to celebrate Mrs. King’s global impact on human rights.  

GIF. Scrolling through The King Center Timeline, chronicling the significant moments in Mrs. Coretta Scott King’s life.

The King Center Timeline, chronicling the life, influence, and contributions of Mrs. Coretta Scott King.

Every day presents a fantastic opportunity to delve into and celebrate the legacy, service, and values of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Microsoft extends an invitation to commemorate his birthday on January 15, 2024. Explore Dr. King’s life, his significant contributions, and his enduring impact through classroom resources, activities, and discussions.