Friday, January 15, 2010

Martin Luther King, Jr. Day combines Art, Literacy and History

This upcoming Monday, January 18, we will be celebrating Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Day by involving visitors in the collaborative process of creating a mural! Our visitors will learn how to cooperate and share with others. The day will be a meditation on the life of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. and an introduction for our young visitors to a significant historical figure.

Visitors will have a chance to create four different types of murals that honor Dr. King's legacy. The murals will focus on words and phrases that are meaningful to Martin Luther King and our mission here at Please Touch Museum. Painting about these words will promote self-expression and critical thinking skills. These concepts include CARING for others, LEARNING, and COMMUNITY service.
During this activity, we will create linguistic associations between a word and its meaning. When a child thinks of a word, there are certain connections we hope they will make. For example, the word CARING may be defined by a young child as the feeling of love or understanding for others.

The way that we personalize every child's experience and make it a significant one is by asking open-ended questions. Asking open-ended questions allows your child to think for themselves and cultivate a unique response.

For example, we might ask what does the word CARING mean to you? How do you CARE for others? How does CARING for others make you feel? Can you paint what the word CARING means to you? This method of focusing on one word can be used for any word your child is trying to add to their vocabulary and is a way to practice learning comprehension skills early on.

The last mural is about Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.’s famous "I have a dream" speech. We will highlight Dr. King as a man who spoke up for what was just and what he believed in. Our younger generation of leaders can begin to think about what is important to them personally and how they are capable of bringing about change. The children will paint in the clouds with what they dream about and what dreams they have for their futures.

We are looking forward to having a great day in the Program Room and hope you will be able to join us!

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