Monday, January 20, 2014

Lesson Plan: MLK FQR

Today is MLK Day!  The following is a lesson plan on Martin Luther King Jr.  The lesson plan involves a reading strategy called Facts/Question/Response.  The lesson is intended for sixth grade, and can overlap with language arts and social studies subjects.  The lesson could be a part of a a larger unit on civil rights.  Additional resources can also be found throughout this lesson.

Title: Martin Luther King Jr. Facts/Question/Response

Grade Level: 6th grade

Subject Level: Language Arts/Social Studies

Integration of Learning Outcomes:

  • R8.A.2: Understand nonfiction at appropriate grade level.
  • R8.A.2.5.1: Summarize the major points, processes, and/or events of a nonfictional text as a whole.
  • CC.8.5.6-8.H: Distinguish among fact, opinion, and reasoned judgment in a text. 
Anticipatory Set:

In Strategies That Work: Teaching Comprehension for Understanding and Engagement, Harvey and Goudvis suggest to “build background knowledge of nonfiction features by creating books” (p. 159).  Before reading the Martin Luther King Jr. texts, students will go to the computer lab and briefly research MLK. With the information that they have gathered, students will draw a picture or create a short book illustrating what they just learned about MLK.  This activity will activate their knowledge on MLK, and get them mentally prepared to read nonfiction texts about him.


  • Briefly define fact and opinion:
    • fact: something that actually exists; reality; truth
    • opinion: a personal view, attitude, belief, or judgment
  • Play the “Fact Versus Opinion: Educational Music Video.”  Pause at certain parts and ask the class if the examples are facts or opinions.

Before Reading “The Life and Words of Martin Luther King, Jr.”

Model how to do a Facts/Question/Response (FQR) chart.  Create a chart on the whiteboard, labeling the columns facts, questions, and response.  Read aloud the picture book Martin'sBig Words: The Life of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., by Doreen Rappaport. While reading, stop at the end of each page and have the students point out important facts.  Fill in the facts that the students have stated in the appropriate column on the whiteboard.  Ask why the fact was chosen and why it is important.  Be sure to question the facts to determine how important they are.  See if the students can agree on if a fact is important or not.

After each fact, have the students propose questions.  Write the questions in the appropriate column on the board.  Have the students raise their hands if they hear an answer to the questions during the read aloud. Pause, and have the students state the answer, and fill it in under the response column.  After finishing the story, have the students orally react to the book, and fill it in on the chart.

During the Reading of “The Life and Words of Martin Luther King, Jr.”

Students will read a Scholastic article called “The Life and Words of Martin Luther King, Jr.” independently.  While reading, they will fill out the Facts/Questions/Response (FQR) worksheet.  They will fill in facts that they find important.  They will write questions that they have about the facts, reading, or what they need to be clarified.  If they find an answer, they will write it in the response column.  They will write any reactions in the response column as well.

Once they finish the article, they will write down other questions  or comments that they have about the article or Martin Luther King Jr.

After Reading “The Life and Words of Martin Luther King, Jr.”

In small groups of two or three, students will discuss the important facts they found.  They will talk about which facts they believe are the most important from the article and why they believe they are important.  They will also help each other answer any questions that they had trouble finding.  They will also share any reactions to the piece.


  • Students are able to draw the facts they found about MLK.
  • Students are given an FQR worksheet so that they can keep their notes organized and can easily look back to as a reference.
  • Modeling the FQR process will show students the correct way to do it.
  • Students are reviewed the difference between facts and opinions.
Closure: Ticket out the door --  students will write a short paragraph briefly summarizing the facts they read in “The Life and Words of Martin Luther King Jr.”  They will summarize the main points, processes, and events from the article.

Formative and Summative Assessment:

  • Collect the FQR worksheets that the students filled out.
  • Collect the ticket out the door.
  • Observe group conversations



  • The class will visit the computer lab for a short period of time and briefly research MLK.  Their research will be used for the anticipatory set.
  • Students will watch the “Fact Versus Opinion” Video over an overhead projector.

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