Celebrating Martin Luther King Jr. Day in Spanish Class
Martin Luther King Jr. in Spanish class

Publication: Jan 17, 2021

Inside: Ideas and resources for teaching about and celebrating Martin Luther King Jr. Day in Spanish class.

Martin Luther King Jr. day is traditionally celebrated the third Monday of January. In this post, I’ll be sharing resources and ideas for honoring the Dr. King’s life and legacy with your Spanish students of all ages.

As I wrote in my post on using his I Have a Dream Speech in Spanish class, I encourage teachers– especially non-Black teachers– to be thoughtful in their approach when discussing racism and its history.

In our eagerness to promote equality and honor holidays in class, we risk creating lessons plans that over-simplify the complexity of the Civil Rights movement. Students walk away with an idea of US history that goes something like this: there was a sad period of slavery, until the Civil War and Lincoln abolished it. Things still weren’t completely fair, until some peaceful protests (led by Rosa Parks and MLK Jr.), helped us achieve full racial equality.

In doing so, we risk students who don’t understand how the fight for equality has been resisted at almost every step, and how much work is left to do. We also risk painting a simplistic picture of Martin Luther King Jr., whose words were deeply unpopular at the time, and that he paid for it with his life.

Do the best you can until you know better. Then when you know betterdo better.”

Maya Angelou

Hopefully these links and resources will help all of us to do that. If you disagree with something I have included or have something you think I should add or include, please let me know in the comments below.

What’s included in this post:

  • Anti-Racism / Anti-Bias Resources in Spanish for Educators
  • Free Resources for Martin Luther King Jr. Day in Spanish
  • Picture Books in Spanish for MLK Jr. Day
  • Quotes in Spanish from Martin Luther King Jr.

Resources on anti-racism and anti-bias work:

Free Martin Luther King Jr. Day IN Spanish Resources

First, here is a link to a Google Doc with a TON of anti-racism resources in Spanish. It’s a lot to sort through, but thorough.

If you are looking for ready-to-go printable or digital resources, browse my growing list below.

For Novice Spanish Speakers:

  • On Newsela, there are several articles on Dr. King, as well as other Civil Rights activists.
  • Bilingual printables for elementary students, including a sheet to compare the before/after impact of MLK Jr.’s life and a “Yo tengo un sueño” sheet for drawing or writing, from Hola Bilinguals.
  • Color-by-number portrait of Dr. King in Spanish, from Mommy Maestra

For Intermediate to Advanced Spanish Speakers:

Resources Written for Native Speakers:

Picture books for Martin Luther King Jr. Day in Spanish

These are affiliate links. If you purchase any of these books, I may receive a small portion of the purchase.

Martin Luther King Jr. Day Quotes in Spanish

Martin Luther King Jr. is one of the most oft-quoted figures in history. Here are some of my favorite quotes from Dr. King, in Spanish.

La libertad nunca es voluntariamente otorgada por el opresor; debe ser exigida por el que está siendo oprimido.

Martin luther king jr.

Lo preocupante no es la perversidad de los malvados sino la indiferencia de los buenos.

Martin luther king jr.

La oscuridad no puede deshacer la oscuridad: únicamente la luz puede hacerlo.

Martin Luther King Jr.

Lo que se obtiene con violencia, solamente se puede mantener con violencia.

Martin luther king jr.

Tengo un sueño, un solo sueño, seguir soñando. Soñar con la libertad, soñar con la justicia.

Martin Luther King Jr.

Tu verdad aumentará el la medida que sepas escuchar la verdad de los otros.

Martin luther king jr.

Nuestras vidas comienzan a terminar el día en que nos volvemos silenciosos sobre las cosas que importan.

Martin luther king jr.

Busco el día en el que la gente no sea juzgada por el color de su piel, sino por el contenido de su carácter.

Martin Luther King Jr.

Si supiera que en el mundo se acaba mañana, yo, hoy todavía plantaría un árbol.

Martin luther king jr.

Si no puedes volar, corre. Si no puedes correr, camina. Si no puedes caminar, gatea. Pero hagas lo que hagas, siempre sigue hacia adelante.

Martin Luther King Jr.

Inteligencia más carácter. Esa es la meta de la verdadera educación.

Martin luther king jr.

Al final no recordaremos las palabras de nuestros enemigos, sino el silencio de los amigos

Martin Luther King Jr.

La no violencia no es pasividad estéril, sino una poderosa fuerza moral que se hace para la transformación social.

Martin Luther King Jr.

I hope these resources and ideas were helpful to you!

You also might be interested in my post, I Have a Dream Speech in Spanish, with ideas and resources for teachers and parents.

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Hey! I’m Elisabeth, a teacher and mom raising two bilingual kids in the Peruvian jungle. Read our story here. I love digging up the best Spanish resources for all you busy parents and teachers!

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2 Comments

  1. Muchísimas gracias por tomar el tiempo de hacer esto. I teach in a small rural town in North Carolina, literally with cotton fields next to our soccer field and plantation homes as air-b&b. I will be using this tomorrow.

    Reply

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