Debbie Gillespie's Reviews > Martin's Big Words: The Life of Dr. Martin LutherKing Jr.

Martin's Big Words by Doreen Rappaport
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Oct 16, 11

Read in October, 2011

Citation: Martin’s Big Words: The Life of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., written by Doreen Rappaport and illustrated by Bryan Collier (Scholastic, 2001)

1. Genre: Biography
2. Summary: This is a poignant biography about the civil rights leader, Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. , beginning with his life as a young boy in the south and moving through to his eventual death.
3. Critique:
a. The author introduces the reader to the infamous “words” and teachings of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. by peppering in large text some of his most memorable quotes throughout what is primarily a picture book with little story line text.
b. The combination of simplistic storyline text, poignant quotes and strong images powerfully captures Dr. Martin Luther King’s message of peace.
c. On page 7 and 8, the author writes, “”He studied the teachings of Mahatma Gandhi. He learned how the Indian nation won freedom without firing a gun. Martin said “love” when others said “hate.” Under these few words, the quote, “Hate cannot drive out hate. Only love can do that” is written in big text.

4. Curriculum Connection:
This story could be used in a variety of ways in the early elementary grades. I would use this book to lead students into a discussion about civil rights and our country’s history. Below find some of the correlating Virginia SOLs.
History
2.11 The student will identify George Washington, Abraham Lincoln, Susan B. Anthony, Helen Keller, Jackie Robinson, and Martin Luther King, Jr., as Americans whose contributions improved the lives of other Americans.
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