Virtual Kids Create: January 2021 Edition

Hello and welcome to Virtual Kids Create! This is a self-paced version of the monthly kids day we host at the Poetry Center and includes age-appropriate language arts workshops for children from infancy to ten-years-old, developed by our incredible facilitators. January's theme is social justice, in honor of Martin Luther King, Jr. Day. The activities include read- and sing-a-longs, an exercise for pre-school and early elementary students focusing on King's "I Have a Dream" speech, and a writing prompt that asks older students to examine what it means to stand up to injustice and be in resistance. Feel free to use this as a guide to create your own at-home, structured Kids Create, or pick and choose activities you think the kids in your household might enjoy.

Infant to 3-year-old read-a-loud & sing-a-long:

In this video, Kids Create facilitator Kathy Sutton reads three books: The Sneetches by Dr. Seuss, The Big Umbrella by Amy June Bates, and Just Ask! Be Different, Be Brave, Be You by Sonya Sotomayor.

When you're done, enjoy the following sing-a-long with musician and teacher Gabrielle Pietrangelo. You'll learn about De Colores, the unofficial anthem of the United Farm Workers union, and hear from the book We Shall Overcome: The Story of a Song by Debbie Levy and illustrated by Vanessa Brantley-Newton:

4-6-year-old writing workshop: Standing Up for a Collective Dream

Dr. Martin Luther King Jr holds out one hand to greet the crowd during the March on Washington

In this activity created by facilitator Sophie Daws, participants draw inspiration from Martin Luther King Jr.'s legacy and "I Have a Dream" speech to craft their own Collective Dream poems. They'll also learn about concepts like solidarity and collective liberation, and talk about the dreams they have for their communities. (Adults, be sure to click on the links to learn more about the depth and breadth of King's activism!)


7-10-year-old writing workshop: In Resistance

A stencil of a raised fist gripping a pencilIn this lesson plan by Chalese "Chay the Poet" Potts, young writers are challenged to reflect on what they've stood up for in their lives, what resistance means to them, and the consequences of staying silent. They are urged to craft their own call to action, and transform their brainstorming into a poem. Potts draws inspiration from poet Dominique Christina who said that, "she writes in resistance to being misnamed further."



The feature image depicts Donzaleigh Abernathy, Ralph David Abernathy the 3rd and Juandalynn R. Abernathy, the children of Civil Rights Movement leaders Juanita Abernathy and Dr. Ralph David Abernathy (both pictured in the background). They are leading the 1965 Selma to Montgomery March along with Dr. Martin Luther King Jr., Coretta Scott King, James Reeb, and other Civil Rights activists.