Tuesday, January 12, 2010

What Do You Do With Your Kids On MLK Day?

I want to honor the spirit of the day, and not just spend the day There are a large number of fabulous events for adults, but the pickings for kids have been rather slim. The UM Education school offers a day of activities, but they are somewhat uneven and my kids did not really enjoy them. 

Some of the UM Symposium events are appropriate for older kids, but not always.
(This year's list can be found here.)

So over the years, we've reverted to watching a movie together--one that offers opportunities for discussion around the themes of the day. Every year I think I'm going to suggest to the Michigan Theater that they do an MLK Day Film Festival, and every year I forget until the week before the holiday...

Anyway, what types of movies are we talking about?
One year we watched Glory Road (sports movies are big in my house). This year, maybe it will be Invictus.

Depending on your interests, you might watch an old movie, like Guess Who's Coming to Dinner or To Kill A Mockingbird, In the Heat of the Night, or Gentlemen's Agreement.
Maybe you would prefer to discuss an arts film like Maya Lin: A Strong Clear Vision, and talk about King's opposition to the Vietnam War.
A movie like Crash would provide a lot of discussion around the dining room table.
There are many more choices. Depending on your kids' ages and interests, you might find a good Spike Lee movie (When the Levees Broke, for instance) or a play that's been taped--for instance, Anna Devere Smith's Fires in the Mirror (about the Crown Heights riots).

What do you do on MLK Day with your kids? Do you have suggestions for movies to watch?

1 comment:

  1. I threatened to make my teenage boys to watch "Gone With the Wind" with me! Well... it IS a conversation-starter!

    I've long been puzzled by why schools have that day off, when it seems contradictory to the message. All those school assemblies and presentations we will attend on Friday would be better suited to Monday, I think.

    - YpsiAnon