The lead-up to Martin Luther King, Jr. Day on January 18, 2021 is a particularly good time to teach your students about racial equality—and, more specifically, Dr. King's accomplishments and legacy. This includes everything from the resonating messages in his "I Have a Dream" speech to MLK becoming a symbol of nonviolent protest.
We've compiled some Martin Luther King, Jr. Day bulletin boards from social media to help you brainstorm ideas for your own MLK board, whether you're creating one for your face-to-face classroom or as a backdrop for a remote teaching setting.
MLK Bulletin Board Ideas
The bulletin board below includes contributions from students on the Post-It Notes along its border. Students shared their own dreams in recognition of the "I Have a Dream" speech, which MLK delivered in 1963 at the Lincoln Memorial in Washington, D.C. If you're teaching remotely, you can have student submit their notes via email. As this teacher did, use variety of bright colors to draw in your viewers.
Here's a similar idea, where students describe their own dreams to align with the theme of MLK's speech, and it also has an artistic component. Consider having your students tell the story of MLK's life in both words and pictures, like this teacher did.
This bulletin board illustrates the actions for which we remember MLK today, in part by highlighting keywords to describe Dr. King's role in history—respect, peace, love, equity, justice, service, and hope. Take a similar approach with your own bulletin board by showcasing primary sources, key quotes, and a picture of MLK himself.
The themes of love, equality, and respect are visible in this bulletin board, as is the "I Have a Dream" messaging we've seen on some of the examples above. Having students contribute to the board in some way, even if it's virtually, is a good way to get them thinking about the importance of setting goals as well as teaching them about racial justice.
You can have your students draw their own interpretations of MLK's legacy. Have them focus on topics like equality and peace, and use a variety of colors to bring their interpretations to life. Then, showcase your favorite ones in your classroom or hallway for everybody to see!
Below is another example of a simple yet effective bulletin board honoring MLK. Students responded to an "I Have a Dream" prompt, enabling them to not only practice their writing, but also recognize their own aspirations and learn more about their peers. What's your dream?