skip to main content

Remembering the Message from Martin Luther King Jr.

Elementary students with their artwork thumbnail161389
Photo of part of MLK collage thumbnail161391
Photo of part of MLK collage thumbnail161392
Photo of part of MLK collage thumbnail161403
Photo of part of MLK collage thumbnail161404
Photo of part of MLK collage thumbnail161405

From the primary school to the high school, students and teachers commemorated the life of Martin Luther King Jr. Teachers used art and writing to reinforce the positive messages of Dr. King’s words.

High school students in Melanie Mooney’s Studio Art classes were each given a thumbnail image that they were asked to replicate proportionally in charcoal, on a 6-inch-square piece of paper. It was difficult for students to decipher what the thumbnail image was, as each one was a portion of a larger image. 

Once the students had all recreated the images, they assembled them in order on the wall based on codes on the back of each thumbnail. They watched as squares put together became hands, a nose, a mustache and eventually, a portrait of Martin Luther King Jr. 

“It was exciting to see the students understand how their mini individualized artwork when put together and assembled created a masterpiece,” Ms. Mooney said. She explained that Dr. King said, “Life’s most persistent and urgent question is, what are you doing for others?” and that the “others” in this statement helped her students understand that artwork goes much further than themselves. “Collaboration and teamwork can create a much bigger picture,” she said.

At Ann MacArthur Primary School, second graders in Tanya Becker’s class read the book “Martin’s Big Words” and then wrote down their own big words. The book explains that big words are important words such as sharing, caring and love. The children wrote their own names inside of hearts and surrounded those hearts with their own big words, including fair, friendly, kind and beautiful. Ms. Becker explained that the project supports the Bucket Filler program, which emphasizes traits such as empathy, understanding and caring.