Martin Luther King Jr. Day- Design Your Own Monument

Martin Luther King Jr. Day- Design Your Own Monument

Materials: Tape, Glue, Paper Plates, Construction Paper, Straws, Toilet paper tubes or Paper Towel Tubes, Pipe cleaners, and Markers ; Links to assist: Martin Luther King Jr. Civil Rights Leader Video



  1. Mentors will begin the lesson by sharing with students that January 17th is Martin Luther King Jr. Day. Ask students if they know what this day is and explain to students that January 17th serves as a time to recognize civil rights leader, Martin Luther King Jr. Explain that MLK organized multiple peaceful protests in order to ensure that African American individuals had the same rights and freedom as White people. Explain how through his speeches and writing, MLK made such a huge impact on our world today.
  2. Next, share with students that they will watch a quick video giving them background on who MLK was and what he achieved.
  3. Once the video is completed, mentors will tell students that the activity for today is that they get to create their very own MLK monument or memorial—honoring him for all he has done.
  4. Mentors will then give students roughly 5-10 minutes to think through their design. Using the sheet provided, allow students to create a blueprint of their monument. Make sure to tell or show the students the materials they will be using so that they have a better idea of what their blueprint should entail.
  5. When the students have finished their blueprints, mentors will pass out the materials to the students. Allow 15 minutes for the students to create their monuments. Mentors, please be sure to walk around and help students when necessary!
  6. Once students have finished their monuments, mentors will ask students a variety of questions:
    • What do you like most about your monument?
      Did your blueprint match your finished monument? Why or why not?
      If you had more materials, what would have you done differently?
      Why do you think it’s important to honor MLK?


    Download activity here


Grade Range: 7th & 8th


Time: 30 minutes


Synopsis: Mentors will show the MLK Day-Civil Rights Leader PBS Learning video to give students background regarding Martin Luther King Jr, who he was, and the Civil Rights Movement. Once students watch the video, mentors will allow students to design and create their very own Martin Luther King Jr. memorial. When students finish their monument, mentors will ask students a variety of questions involving their monuments.