Third graders learn history through letter writing to MLK

Published 12:00 am Friday, January 18, 2008

DEMOPOLIS &045; Classrooms around the country use this time of year as a kick-off for upcoming Black History month, often choosing Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. as a representative figure of the Civil Rights Movement.

Erma Banks’ third grade class at U.S. Jones Elementary learned about King last week by reading &8220;Dear Dr. King,&8221; a children’s book composed of letters written from today’s children to the Civil Rights hero.

In addition to learning facts about his life, such as his first job was as a newspaper carrier, they also took a test about the different things they learned. Next week they will each recite a poem about his life and the work he did.

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After learning all of this information, Banks’ class gathered their own thoughts and wrote letters to Dr. King. The following are excerpts from just a few of the students’ letters in Banks’ class.

Dear Dr. King,

You are a great man. I wish you were still alive. I am sorry you were killed. If you didn’t help us blacks and whites would still be separated. You are my hero.

Malena Williams, 8

Dear Dr. King,

I know that you are not mean. I’m sorry you got shot. I hope no more kids do drugs. I wish I was there and you did not get shot. I hope it is good up there. I love you.

Leah George, 8

Dear Dr. King,

The world has changed since you died. Now that we have both blacks and whites at school it is fun. The schools are better than they were back then.

Nick Nelson, 9

Dear Dr. King,

I wish you were still alive. You were so great. You made the world a much better place. I love to celebrate your birthday. I am so sorry you got shot. You were such a great man and everyone loves you.

Neerali Patel, 8

Dear Dr. King,

How is it in heaven? Do you talk about your life there? Do people talk about you? Thank you for changing the world.

Corinth Williams, 8