Title: MARTIN'S BIG WORDS The Life of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.
Author: Doreen Rappaport
Illustrator: Bryan Collier
Publisher & Publication Date: Scholastic Inc., 2001
Genre: Biography, picture book
Grade Level: 2-6
Summary: This picture book is about the life of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. and his nonviolent push for equality. He grew up in the segregated south and did not like the things that went on around him. When he was older he used nonviolent methods to obtain peace in the world around him. It talked about how he went to Alabama when Rosa Parks refused to move on the bus. It also talked about other nonviolent demonstrations he participated in while he was alive. At the end it tells how he was assassinated while speaking in Memphis, Tennessee.
Response: I thought this was a good informational book about the life of Dr. King Jr. I knew a little about the things he did, but this book helped further my knowledge of him. It made me want to go out and fight for something important in a nonviolent way as he did. I liked how it tied the story of Rosa Parks into his life story. The front cover is really interesting because it is a picture of Dr. King smiling. I thought it was the back cover at first but it is the front. I think it is moving the way the book is set up. It starts with him as a little boy talking about how he didn't like the things (segregation) were going on around him. Most of the illustrations are double-page spreads but most of the pages would have the illustration and then separate the text from the picture. The illustrations were produced from watercolor and cut paper collage. They were really moving images.
Teaching Ideas: This is an idea for upper elementary age students. Read the picture book to your students and then play a recording of Dr. King's "I have a dream" speech. Talk about the importance of his speech and how it impacted the lives of others. Then distribute the "I have a dream too!" worksheet so that your students can write their own "I have a dream" speech.
(I got this idea from http://www.education-world.com/a_lesson/02/lp248-04.shtml)