I Have a Dream – School Therapy Session Ideas
The New Year means working toward goals and focusing attention on these items. It can also be the perfect time to call on a person and his dreams to inspire young children. January 21 is Martin Luther King Jr. Day. For many second language students and families, living in the United States is a dream, and having rights for all citizens one that has come true for them. It is also a time to remind kids about respecting diversity and working together to make the world a better place
Begin with a Book
There are many different books about Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. specifically for children. Some books focus on his life, others on his messages. Select a book that goes along with what your child is working on in class, or what is developmentally appropriate. Some book examples are:
- The Story of Martin Luther King, Jr. – by Johnny Ray Moore
- What is Martin Luther King, Jr. Day? – by Margot Parker
- A Picture Book of Martin Luther King, Jr. – by David A. Adler
- Happy Birthday, Martin Luther King, Jr. – by Jean Marzollo
Remember that books allow time for chatting, answering questions, and building vocabulary and word skills. Each may also be used to begin a month-long theme with crafts and items as described below.
Sing a Song
Songs for the holidays are another great way to get in some fluency, articulation, and confidence building. Kids love to find and will adore hearing familiar tunes tell a new story. A great resource for holiday songs is The Holiday Zone. For Martin Luther King, Jr. Day, they have songs that go along to many favorites that everyone will recognize.
Expressing Our Dreams
Allowing children to think and verbally express their thoughts on dreams is a big skill. Children may be afraid to assert their views and afraid that they may be wrong or not say something correct. Be sure to let them know that there is no right or wrong, their dreams are personal and practice is important with speech. To help with talking about these items, incorporating a craft on the topic will usually make it easier for kids to open up. A few examples are below with links to photos and material lists.
- I Have a Dream Mobile for MLK Jr. Day (Katie’s Nesting Spot)
- Dream in your Heart Activity and other MLK ideas (The First Grade Parade)
- Peace Doves and Dream of Making a Difference (Little Miss Glamour Goes to Kindergarten)
There are countless other ideas out there, and the sky is the limit if you use your imagination. No matter what you choose to do, take time to encourage children to share their diversity and multicultural identities. Send a letter home to parents letting them know what you are doing and ask them to share anything that they have dreamed about or accomplished as a family. Reaching out and making this personal will often keep children and adults more actively engaged.