Martin Luther King Jr Essay Prompts

Ten Writing Prompts for Martin Luther King, Jr. Day

Martin Luther King, Jr. Day is an entire day dedicated to celebrating the birthday of one of the most beloved civil rights activists in history.

One way for teachers to encourage their students to celebrate Martin Luther King, Jr. Day is through writing prompts. Education World has gathered a list of writing prompts teachers can use in the classroom to remember Martin Luther King, Jr. 

Journal Buddies: This site offers 61 writing prompt ideas to use on Marting Luther King, Jr. Day:

  1. Would you be a non-violent leader? Why or why not?
  2. Why is peace important?
  3. How does racism effect people? How does it effect you?

The Holiday Zone: Students can tackle more complicated issues with this list of writing prompts:

  1. Make a list of ten things that you can do to make the world a better place
  2. Write a paragraph explaining how discrimination and prejudice impact our world today
  3. Pretend that you had an opportunity to interview Dr. King. Write out five questions that you would like to ask him. 

TeachHub.com: "I Have a Dream" Speech Video Writing Prompts: 

Students can watch Martin Luther King, Jr.'s "I Have a Dream Speech", and write a prompt afterwards. This site offers different prompts for grades K-12. Here's the prompt for K-2 and 3-5:

  1. Martin Luther King Jr. is sharing his dream for what the world should be like. His dream was to have a fair, peaceful world where everyone is equal to one another. What would your dream world be like?
  2. Martin Luther King Jr. used several common writing techniques in his famous speech. Identify an example of each of the following writing techniques from the "I Have a Dream" Speech. You can refer to the full text of the speech for review:
  • Simile
  • Repetition / Anaphora
  • Analogy
  • Quotes / Allusions
  • Metaphor

Using figurative language, Dr. King identifies clear, concrete goals he hopes this speech will help achieve. Identify at least one of those goals.

Build Creative Writing Ideas:

  1. What does it mean to "do the right thing?" Why do you think some people choose to do the easy thing as opposed to the right thing?
  2. Why do you think segregation is wrong? How would you try to convince someone in support of segregation that it was not fair? Would you be successful? Why or why not?

Article by Kassondra Granata, Education World Contributor

Martin Luther King, Jr. Day Writing Prompts

Here are 10 Martin Luther King Jr. Day writing prompts you can use to ring in the holiday with your classroom or your own personal journal. If you enjoyed these prompts, buy the entire collection of 1,000 Writing Prompts for Holidays on Amazon.

381. Why do you think it's important for people to treat each other equally regardless of who they are and where they come from? Why do you think some people have a hard time doing that?

382. Imagine a situation in which you use peace and understanding instead of violence to deal with the problem. In what ways would your non-violent approach be more successful?

383. In some areas, Martin Luther King, Jr. Day is a day of service. What are some ways that you could serve your community? Why might you choose these methods of service above some others?

384. Have you ever noticed any discrimination against you or one of your friends? If so, how did the discrimination make you feel? If not, write a story about seeing discrimination and how you would react to it.

385. Create a made-up story using the following words: race, color, speech, and equality.

386. Imagine that you had a dream of how the world could be a better place? What are some of the things that might happen in that dream? What are some ways in which you could make the dream actually happen?

387. When Dr. King was alive, people would listen to his speeches on the radio and feel happy and inspired. Who are some people that we watch on TV or online who make us feel the same way today? Do any of your friends inspire you? If so, why?

388. What do you think it means for all people to be treated equally? What are some ways today in which some people are not treated as equals? Why do you think there is still inequality in the world?

389. Why do you think name-calling is a mean thing to do? Why do you think some people do it even when it hurts other people’s feelings?

390. Imagine that you had to give a speech to more than 25,000 people about the state of the world today. What do you think you'd talk about? Would your speech be a success? Why or why not?



Did you enjoy these holiday writing prompts? Buy a book full of holiday writing prompts today!

Done with Martin Luther King Jr. Day? Go back to Holiday Writing Prompts.

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    Written by Bryan Cohen

    Bryan Cohen is the author of more than 30 books, many of which focus on creative writing and blasting through that pesky writer's block. His books have sold more than 20,000 copies. You can find him on Google+ and Facebook.

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