Civil Rights Activities for Kids

Instructor: Nicky Davis
The battle for equality and civil rights is one that can be tracked throughout American history into the present day. Keep reading to find activities to help kids learn about the history and importance of civil rights movements.

Kids Activities for Exploring Civil Rights

Use the activities below to get students engaged with learning about civil rights, and inspire them to think about current events and social justice.

'I Have A Dream' Speeches

Read or listen to Martin Luther King Jr.'s famous 'I Have A Dream' speech, and discuss. Then, invite students to draft their own 'I Have A Dream' speeches on modern social justice issues that they feel strongly about. You can even have a day or two for students to deliver their speeches to the class.

  • Students can become familiar with other language used by MLK in a lesson that contains some famous quotes of his.

Signs of Protest

Review the tenets of civil disobedience, and examples of leaders who practiced it, such as MLK and Gandhi. Then, ask students to come up with a protest idea for a current civil rights issue that they feel strongly about. Additionally, have students come up with and create their own protest signs.

Letters from the Outside

Ask students to recollect a time when they were excluded from something on an unfair basis. Have students write letters to the people who excluded them, or poems expressing what it felt like to be treated unjustly.

  • Video lessons for students on the history of major social justice movements in American history can be found in this civil rights collection of lessons. Students can also check out a very well-known letter written by MLK in the Letter from Birmingham Jail lesson.

Heroes of Civil Rights

Ask students to pick a past or present leader in civil rights to research. Then choose a day for students to come to class and discuss the life and accomplishments of their civil rights figure.

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