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Mr. & Mrs.

Holiday Lesson Plan: Martin Luther King Day (in connection with Black History
Grade: 3
Student learner objectives:
Students will learn about a holiday honoring a man dedicated to Peace for all
Students will read a story about Martin Luther King Jr. Day
Students will locate the Under Ground Railroad on a map.
Students will sing a Freedom Song. Follow the Drinking Gourd
Students will create a quilt square using math skills.
Students will write about a dream they have for the future.
Students will locate the Little Dipper in the night sky.
Students will draw their dreams on a piece of paper.
Students will sing We Shall Overcome
-Martin Luther King Jr. Day, by Margaret McNamara. Alladin Paper Back, New
ISBN: 13: 978-1-4169-3494-3
-Lizzies Story: A Slave Familys Journey to Freedom, by Clarice Boswell.
www.1st ISBN: 0-7596-9920-8
-The Drinking Gourd, by F.N. Monjo Harper Collins Publ.
ISBN: 0-06-024329-5
-Children Just Like Me, by Sue Copsey, DK Publishing Co.
ISBN: 0-7894-0201-7 -Story of Aseye (pronounced A-say-yah)
-Map of United States and Africa
-The Music Connection Grade 3, Silver Burdett Ginn Publishing.
ISBN: 0-382-26192-5
-The Music Connection Grade 3, Silver Burdett Ginn Publishing.
ISBN: 0-382-26523-8(resource book)
Paper for drawing and writing student dreams and letter to Aseye
-Ozellas Underground railroad quilt code. Hidden in Plain View The secret
Story of Quilts and the Underground Railroad, New York, Doubleday, 1999
-Pattern for quilt squares. Construction paper or cloth
-A sample quilt.
-Photographs of the Lorraine Hotel
Curricular Connections:
Reading, Math, Geography, Language, Writing, Astronomy, Music, Art
1. Read the story Martin Luther King Jr. Day (Reading)
2. Review the phrase: If I could change the world in one way
3. Read: Story of Aseye (pronounced A-say-yah)
4. Discuss where Aseye lives. (Map) What did we learn about Aseye and her
family? Do you think their lives would have been the same in 1860 as they are

5. Students will write a letter to Aseye describing their dream for the future.
6. Share the story of Lizzie living with her mother Delcy. Delcys parents were sold
off the plantation when Delcy was only 10 and living alone.
7. Introduce the man who hoped the world would be a better place for all people.
8. Draw a picture of your dream. (Art)
9. Teach the song: Follow the Drinkin Gourd
10. Listen to a section: discuss reading strategies (Who, what, where, when, why)
11. Make connections with our own history. (History)
12. Discuss the story of quilts. Do any of you have a story to share about a quilt?
13. Make a quilt square using triangles and square shapes. Describe how this might
have been a sign for the travelers on the Underground railroad. (Art)(Math)
Song Lesson: (Music)

Follow the Drinkin Gourd


Follow the drinkin gourd. Follow the drinkin gourd.

For the old man is awaiting for to carry you to freedom
If you follow the drinkin gourd.
When the sun comes up and the first quail calls. Follow the
drinkin gourd.
For the old man is awaiting for to carry you to freedom
If you follow the drinkin gourd.
Now the riverbank will make a mighty good road;
Dead trees will show you the way.
For the old man is awaiting for to carry you to freedom
If you follow the drinkin gourd.
And the left foot, pegfoot, travelin on,
Just you follow the drinkin gourd.

For the old man is awaiting for to carry you to freedom

If you follow the drinkin gourd.
Procedure for teaching the song:
1. This song tells a story of a special gourd. Listen carefully to the words. What is
the drinkin gourd? (The Little Dipper)
2. What does the Little Dipper look like? How can you find the North Star?
3. There is a phrase that repeats. Can you identify it? (Follow the drinkin gourd)
4. Please join me on these words. (Follow the drinkin gourd) Sing again.
5. What do you think the old man is doing? (taking you to freedom) (History)
6. Add orff accompaniments. (See resource book p. 140)
7. Teach each ostinato pattern by rote.

Teaching Tips/Information:

Have letter writing paper available along with construction paper cut into
triangles and squares for the students to make their quilt pattern.

2. Martin Luther King, Jr., (January 15, 1929-April 4, 1968) was born Michael
Luther King, Jr., but later had his name changed to Martin. His grandfather
began the family's long tenure as pastors of the Ebenezer Baptist Church in
Atlanta, serving from 1914 to 1931; his father has served from then until the
present, and from 1960 until his death Martin Luther acted as co-pastor.
Martin Luther attended segregated public schools in Georgia, graduating from
high school at the age of fifteen; he received the B. A. degree in 1948 from
Morehouse College, a distinguished Negro institution of Atlanta from which
both his father and grandfather had graduated. After three years of
theological study at Crozer Theological Seminary in Pennsylvania where he
was elected president of a predominantly white senior class, he was awarded
the B.D. in 1951. With a fellowship won at Crozer, he enrolled in graduate
studies at Boston University, completing his residence for the doctorate in
1953 and receiving the degree in 1955. In Boston he met and married Coretta
Scott, a young woman of uncommon intellectual and artistic attainments. Two
sons and two daughters were born into the family.
Always a strong worker for civil rights for members of his race, King
was, by this time, a member of the executive committee of the National
Association for the Advancement of Colored People, the leading organization
of its kind in the nation. He was ready, then, early in December, 1955, to
accept the leadership of the first great Negro nonviolent demonstration of
contemporary times in the United States, the bus boycott described by
Gunnar Jahn in his presentation speech in honor of the laureate. The boycott
lasted 382 days. On December 21, 1956, after the Supreme Court of the
United States had declared unconstitutional the laws requiring segregation on
buses, Negroes and whites rode the buses as equals. During these days of
boycott, King was arrested, his home was bombed, he was subjected to
personal abuse, but at the same time he emerged as a Negro leader of the
first rank.

On the evening of April 4, 1968, while standing on the balcony of his

motel room in Memphis, Tennessee, where he was to lead a protest march in
sympathy with striking garbage workers of that city, he was assassinated.
** From Nobel Lectures, Peace 1951-1970, Editor Frederick W. Haberman,
Elsevier Publishing Company, Amsterdam, 1972
3. The Underground Railroad: A network of people, the Underground Railroad,
gave safe haven to slaves who fled to the North. Harriet Tubman, a runaway
slave, was the most famous conductor of the Railroad. She would dress as
a man and call herself Moses. She guided many slave north to freedom, using
the North Star as a guide. A one-legged sailor, called Peg Leg Joe, hired
himself out to plantation owners and then taught the song Follow the Drinkin
Gourd to the slaves. The Big Dipper is the drinkin gourd with the two bowl
stars pointing the way to the North Star. The slaves would use a section of a
hollow gourd to dip into the water bucket while working.
Song Lesson (Music)

We Shall Overcome
1. Music Express Jan/Feb. 2010 by John Jacobson
2. CD Track 5 (We Shall Overcome)
1. Ask the students to listen for a repeated phrase.
2. Sing the song once through. (We Shall Overcome)
3. Discuss what this song might be about. (freedom, slavery,
racism) Black History month began in 1926 to honor Frederick
Douglass and Abraham Lincoln and was called Negro History
Week. Onfe of the reason we celebrate in February is that it is
the month the 15th ammendment was passed, giving black
American men the right to vote. Now the month serves to
highlight the accomplishments of black Americans and their
human rights.
4. Invite the class to join in singing with the recording.
5. Invite students to play the melody on dulcimers. (numbers
6. Add chords for more gifted students.

Common Core State Standards: CCSS