Students throughout the Parkway School District participated in a number of events to honor the late civil rights leader Martin Luther King Junior.
Students are out of class Monday for the national holiday, but teachers held a number of events Friday to help students understand history and honor King.
"There are a couple songs that I pulled that took place during that time, to help teach the kids about music," Leyton tells Patch.
She teaches "exceptionally gifted" second graders and said she taught many of them last year so she wanted to build on their knowledge of King.
"They know about Martin Luther King because we studied him last year, but I wanted them to see how his work impacted the life of every single american, not just in politics, but how his politics influenced music and many other aspects of life," Leyton explained.
Music teacher Cailin Forrest also had students participate in class activites and lessons to honor the late civil rights leader. Forrest tells Patch she compiled some musical pieces that students will sing to help them learn about King and who he was.
"I think that Martin Luther King fought for issues that are still important today. While slavery is still abolished in our country, it is still taking place in other countries around the world and relevant today," Forrest tells Patch. "It's a great way to tie in current events and a social studies curriculum and we can do that through music.
Forrest said that second graders learned a gospel song about King's life. They sang and played an instrumental accompaniment along with the song using xylophones and finger cymbals. Third graders sang about freedom and read musical notation, while playing xylophones, met allophones, and claves.
"The students sang from their hearts and played amazingly. It was a very proud moment and lesson," Forrest stated.
View photos from Friday's school activities above.
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