This month, we as a nation celebrate the life and accomplishments of Martin Luther King, Jr., who stands as a symbol of social justice, nonviolence, and mutual respect for all creation. Dr. King taught others to meet hate with love, and to show respect towards self, our fellow community members, and to our world, even in the face of differences, challenges, or darkness.
Martin Luther King, Jr. Day is a federal holiday in the United States. Each year, it is observed on the third Monday of January. This yearly celebration reminds teachers, catechists, and parents, the importance of exploring respect with children.
RESPECT ACTIVITIES FOR KIDS
Teach your students about the message of Martin Luther King, Jr. by brainstorming types of actions that demonstrate respect for self, others, and creation!
Begin by ask students to volunteer ways that students can respect themselves, and as they generate ideas, list them on chart paper. After several ideas have been recorded, ask students to generate ways to show respect to the others in the community. Record those ideas in another area of the chart paper.
Finally, ask them to brainstorm ways to show respect for God’s creation. Encourage students to consider practical ways, which they can implement on a daily basis in their own lives.
After ideas have been proposed and discussed, use the respect worksheets for kids below to have students illustrate their favorites example of respect in each category – self, others, and creation - and create a hanging mobile.
RESPECT MOBILE ACTIVITY
The Respect Mobile Activity requires a copy of the Respect Mobile Activity handout for each student. It should be distributed after the initial brainstorming session. Students will need writing supplies, art materials, scissors, string, and paper clips to complete this activity. As a variation for older students, you may want to invite them to write their responses in each category instead of illustrating them. Or consider providing magazines and newspapers for students to peruse and cut to make a collage on their mobiles of words, headlines and images that demonstrate respect in each category. If time allows, display the completed mobiles around the religious education classroom, or in the prayer space. Allow times for students to quietly circulate around the space, observing each other’s work and reflecting on many ways to show respect that the mobiles portray.
After the mobiles have been shared, encourage students to display their completed mobiles at home and to show them to family members and friends. Download the respect worksheets for kids now!
Reflect on respect with children in your home, parish, or religious education classroom. It is important that teachers, catechists, and parents teach and model respect towards self, our fellow community members, and to our world. Download the Respect Mobile Activity now.