Honoring the Life and Legacy of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.

The civil rights movement was a fight for equality for African Americans under the law in the United States. Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. led the movement along with other civil rights activists in the 1950s and 1960s.

Revisit the history of the moment and engage students in an important classroom discussion about the work of Dr. King and other civil rights leaders. As you explore historic events, consider creating the Edmund Pettus Bridge in Selma, Alabama, which was the site of the Selma-Montgomery March in 1965.


Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. and Rosa Parks at the 1955 bus boycott. (National Archives)

Civil Rights Movement

Slavery was abolished at the end of the Civil War, but it didn’t end discrimination against Black people in the United States. The fight for equality would begin in earnest in the mid-20th century and continue for the next two decades.

After reconstruction, the South implemented a series of “Jim Crow” laws to erase gains made after the Civil War. The laws restricted voting rights for African Americans, banned interracial relationships and allowed businesses to separate clientele based on race.

On December 1, 1955, Rosa Parks refused to give up her seat to a white male passenger on a bus in Montgomery, Alabama. Police arrested Parks, and word of her situation spread quickly, igniting a series of protests. As a result of her act, Parks is known as the “mother of the modern-day civil rights movement.”


Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. at the March on Washington.

Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.

In response to Parks’ arrest, Black community leaders in Alabama formed the Montgomery Improvement Association (MIA). Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. led the MIA, a role that put him front and center in the fight for civil rights.

Through King’s leadership, the African American community experienced more progress toward racial equality in 13 years than in the past 350 years. Dr. King took inspiration from his faith and the teachings of Mahatma Gandhi to lead a nonviolent resistance that included protests, grassroots organizing, and civil unrest.

King was elected president of the Southern Christian Leadership Conference (SCLC) in 1957 to provide organizational leadership to the civil rights movement. In 1963, he led a coalition of groups in nonviolent protest in Birmingham, Alabama. The brutality that ensued by the city’s police force led to national outrage. Later that same year, King led the March on Washington, where he gave his famous “I Have a Dream” speech to an audience of a quarter-million people.

King became the youngest recipient of the Nobel Peace Prize in 1964 at 35. Also, in 1964, due in part to the March on Washington, Congress passed a landmark Civil Rights Act ending legal racial segregation in the U.S. Congress passed the Voting Rights Act a year later, in 1965, a result of the Selma to Montgomery, AL March for Voting Rights.


The Edmund Pettus Bridge in Selma, Alabama.

Relive a Moment in History: Selma to Montgomery

In January 1965, Dr. King led a coalition of activist groups to call for voting rights in Selma, Alabama, where despite repeated attempts, only two percent of Black voters were registered. The campaign saw mass arrests but little violence until February. Then, in Marion, Alabama, state troopers joined local police to break up a march. A state trooper shot a protester who later died from his wounds.

In response to the death, activists set out to march from Selma to Montgomery. While Dr. King was in Atlanta, Hosea Willams and John Lewis led the march. The marchers made their way through Selma across the Edmund Pettus Bridge. A blockade of state troopers and law enforcement officers ordered the marchers to disperse. When they refused, the troopers attacked the crowd with clubs and tear gas. Television coverage of the event, “Bloody Sunday,” as it became known, sparked national outrage.

On March 21-25, 1965, Dr. King participated in a federally sanctioned march from Selma to the steps of the capitol in Montgomery, Alabama. President Johnson signed the Voting Rights Act of 1965 with Dr. King and other civil rights leaders on August 6, 1965.

Make a bridge through history by recreating the Edmund Pettus Bridge in 3D. It’s an opportunity to learn from events of the past and understand the legacy of Dr. King and other civil rights leaders. The 3Doodler tutorial and stencil provides a straight-forward way to recreate this historic bridge.

Share your experience with us and tag @3Doodler or #3Doodler #WhatWillYouCreate on social.

 

Fall into STEM with Lessons for K-8

Boost classroom confidence through a series of STEM lessons that enable students to work in teams and engage in critical thinking skills. Science and math concepts can sometimes be hard to understand. With a unique hands-on approach, students will grasp new ideas in no time!

The 3Doodler lessons span grades K-8 with creative exploration that will have students embracing new ideas. Combine these activities with other resources we’ve rounded up for a completely new approach to tried and true topics.

Grade K-2: Basic Needs of Plants & Animals

To survive, plants and animals have different needs, which we can break down in this hands-on lesson. Students will break into groups and explore the needs of plants and animals using the free worksheet. Working together, they will first trace or draw the symbols for the items listed on the sheet. Then, they will doodle their designs using a 3Doodler Start+ 3D printing pen. Once the symbols are ready, students can use a Venn diagram to compare the needs of the animals with the needs of plants. Students could deepen their understanding by studying the needs of animals from different habitats.

Consider closing this lesson with a video and resources from Plum Landing by PBS to see how plants and animals thrive in a city. This colorful and creative lesson will invite playful exploration of what animals and plants need to survive!

Grade 3-5: Cloud Doodles

With the change of seasons, there’s no better time to observe the science around us. A quick look up at the sky reveals many scientific observations, and for this lesson, we will be looking at different cloud types with a fun twist. By working in small groups, students will be asked to learn about four different types of clouds, study their shape, and research the weather conditions associated with each cloud. Once the research is complete, the students will create cloud doodles and then repurpose them as everyday objects, animals, or people — a poodle, a boat, or car fumes.

Extend learning with a lesson on how clouds affect climate from NASA. Students will appreciate the vital role clouds play in the water cycle and reflect on their understanding. What do you see when you look at the clouds?

Grade 6-8: Bridging the Gap

Bridges have played an essential role throughout history in providing access to routes to transport people and goods. Over time, the design of bridges has evolved from a simple slab to modern structural marvels. In this lesson, students will work in small groups to explore different bridge shapes and their structural elements.

Challenge students to create a bridge that spans 20 centimeters and test its weight-bearing ability with a small car or other materials. Gradually increase the weight to see which group built the strongest bridge. It’s a fantastic way to combine multiple subject areas, from history, architecture, and design to science, math, and engineering. Encourage the teams to reflect on what worked well, what didn’t, and how they could have improved their design.

Consider kicking this lesson off with a bit of history. The oldest surviving bridge in the United States is the Frankford Avenue Bridge in Philadelphia, built in 1867. It played an important role in linking Philadelphia to cities in the north, namely Trenton, New York, and Boston. Speaking of New York, the iconic Brooklyn Bridge was completed in 1883 and was the longest suspension bridge of its time. Much more to learn about the role bridges have played throughout history!

Envelope

Get Inspiration in Your Inbox

Sign up to be the first to have our latest 3D pen lessons, stencils, deals, and discounts (yay!) deposited directly in your inbox.

You have Successfully Subscribed!