Language Can Change the World: A Lesson for Martin Luther King Day

Martin Luther King day is here again; and if your children are past elementary age, you're probably looking for a new and more challenging way to acknowlege this important event.  The Self-Evident Truth book series from Royal Fireworks Press explores a concept Dr. King knew well: language can change the world!

The series includes 4 books. All but the last one were written by Michael Clay Thompson, and they make a great addition to his Language Arts curriculum. (Although, they can certainly be used separately.) Each book examines a historic document or speech, exploring the ideas expressed and how the use of language gives power to these ideas. 

Volume 1, "Jefferson's Truths" looks at the Declaration of Independence. "Lincoln's Ten Sentences" deals with the Gettysburg Address. Volume 3 is "Free at Last: The Language of Dr. King's Dream." And the final volume, titled "An Issue This Nation Cannot Ignore," analyzes Barack Obama's campaign speech on race from March 2008.

Each book includes ideas for writing and other projects, as well as considerable material for discussion. The first three volumes also have accompanying teacher guides (which are certainly not necessary, but could be useful.) The historic background information makes these books a great resource for combining language arts and history studies. They could be used individually in studies of the historic figures or as an extended study about historic ideas and language.

So consider adding these wonderful materials to your history, language, or Martin Luther King day learning!

Happy Homeschooling!