A Beloved Community Lesson Plan

Academic Standards


Reading Objective:

Children will identify the attributes of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.’s beloved community.


SEL Focus:

social awareness


Social Studies Focus:

Dr. Martin Luther King Jr., civics


ELA Skills:

key details, vocabulary, writing, grammar


Page 4 Skill:

nonfiction text features



beloved, community, peaceful, cooperate, fair, loving



SL.2.3, RI.2.1, RI.2.4, L.2.1


Guided Reading Level: 



Lexile Level: 


Provide students with some background on Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.

Build background knowledge (10 min.)

Watch our video “Dr. King: A Leader and a Hero.” After children have finished watching the video, discuss the following question:

  • What is one reason Dr. King was a hero?

Preview vocabulary (3 min.)

Next, play the online vocabulary slideshow. This issue’s featured words are beloved, community, peaceful, cooperate, fair, and loving.

Set a purpose for reading (5 min.)

  • Pass out the issue, and discuss the cover. What do you think a beloved community is?
  • Next, read the As You Read prompt on page 2: “Look for four words that describe Dr. King’s beloved community.” Encourage children to think about this prompt as they read.

Read together (20 min.)

Pass out the Read and Think printable. Use it to check comprehension as you read the issue together, pausing to ask the questions. 

Assessment: Reading Quiz 

Pass out the Reading Quiz to review key concepts from the issue and assess students’ proficiency on key nonfiction reading skills.

  • The “Design a Poster” game lets students review text features as they make a digital poster in honor of Dr. King. They can even print it out.

You can use our printable worksheets to focus on important ELA skills. Here’s how.

ELA Focus: Vocabulary (15 min.)

  • Use the Word Work printable to deepen students’ understanding of the words beloved, community, peaceful, cooperate, fair, and loving.

Editor’s Pick: Writing (15 min.)

  • The Your Beloved Community skill sheet encourages students to think about their beloved community and provides scaffolding to help them write about it.

ELA Focus: Grammar (15 min.)

  • The Grammar Sort skill sheet gives students practice determining parts of speech using a quote from the article.

 Here are two past issues you can use to extend your lesson on Dr. King:

You can find a higher-Lexile-level and a lower-Lexile-level version of the article online here:

  • Higher-Lexile level: 650L
  • Lower-Lexile level: 490L