If you’re like me, you put a bow on the holidays and then breathed a sigh of relief as you headed home for the two week break. But here you are back in class and MLK Day is already upon you! You have no time to lose when it comes to planning your MLK Day and Black History Month activities! So, let’s get right to the point of this post: ReadAloudPlays.com specializes in Black History Month and MLK plays.
In 2021, despite all the Covid-related restrictions, the folks at the Palace Youth Theatre in New Hampshire selected a couple of my plays to enact for Black History Month. I’ve posted the video here so that you can take a look. Just click on the image. Whether or not these two plays inspire you to download any of my material, I hope you’ll still share the video with your students. Consider having them watch the production and then read the plays. Or, simply have them follow along with the script while viewing.
The two plays shown are Martin’s Big Dream, which reveals how incidents from King’s childhood inspired his work, and A Simple Act of Courage, which shares the role Ruby Bridges played in integrating America’s schools. They’re both available in my TpT and Etsy stores.
You’ll also find numerous other plays told from the perspective of Civil Right icons like Jackie Robinson, Claudette Colvin, and Sheyann Webb. One of the hallmarks of a quality historical play for kids is that the story is told through the eyes of a child witnessing the events firsthand. These plays all meet that standard.
A favorite of mine is MLK’s Freedom March, which is told through the eyes of eleven-year-old Lucy. Her grandmother is dying of cancer, her father is worried about losing his job, and her brother is fired up about The March for Jobs and Freedom, the iconic event where Dr. King delivered his “I Have a Dream” speech. It’s a powerful play with multidimensional characters backed by King’s awe-inspiring speech.
If you don’t know where else to start, download my free product, Tips for Teaching Marginalized Voices and Traumatic Events.
Thank you for continuing Dr. King’s work, and happy directing!