Monday, January 19, 2009

Martin's Big Words lead to LOTS of words

Today one of the students in my Montessori preschool classroom brought the book Martin's Big Words for me to read to the class. I had planned on reading a book about Martin Luther King, Jr. to the class, but didn't have this one. I didn't have time to preview it first either. I was pleased to find out that it is a really great book with beautiful illustrations. There is one page in it that briefly states that Martin was shot and died. Not surprisingly, this was a major point of interest for my students. My own little boy, who is in my class, was very taken with the story. In fact, I rushed to the computer as soon as I put him to bed so I could share with you some of what he was talking to me about at bedtime tonight.

To give you a little background, after I read the book in class my son kept saying that he wanted to talk to Martin (he calls him "that man in Kate's book"). He also kept talking about how one person shot Martin and he died and went to heaven with God. Tonight at bedtime he brought it up again on his own. I am going to try to paraphrase what he said because it is so precious. I will refer to him as LO (little one).

LO: Mommy, that man got shot by a person. He is in heaven with God. Maybe we can get some men tomorrow to build him back up again and make him live so I can talk to him.

ME: Well, he is kind of alive with God in heaven. And tonight when we say our prayer we could tell God thank you for putting Martin Luther King, Jr. on our Earth to say such good big words and do so many great things for people.

LO: Yes, but I want to talk to him. Tomorrow you can come to God's heaven with me to build him up.

ME: (trying to change the subject) Hey! Guess what tomorrow is? Tomorrow is when Barack Obama is going to become our president. (LO loves seeing "Brock Obama" on TV and makes us run and look each time he sees him.)

LO: Maybe tomorrow we can take Barack Obama in our van up to God's heaven door and he can meet that man so I can talk to him.

ME: Well, see, Barack Obama is here on Earth and Martin Luther King, Jr. is in heaven now. Maybe someday Barack Obama can meet MLK, Jr. in heaven.

LO: Mommy, maybe we can get some maps. Hey, Mommy, we can get some small maps so we know how to get to heaven.

ME: You know, it's getting kind of late. You have school tomorrow and swim lessons. You need to get some rest now and go to sleep. We can talk more about Martin Luther King, Jr. tomorrow. We can even read some more books about him that Mommy has at school.

LO: Tomorrow when I wake up I'm going to talk to you about that many berry berry (very very) much.

At one point I asked him, out of sheer curiosity, what he would say to Martin if he COULD talk to him. He said, "I would say thank you to him for talking to all the people."

I wish I could have tape-recorded his little voice speaking so seriously to me about such a serious topic. It has impacted him in a big way, more than I would have imagined it would. It will be interesting to see what he says tomorrow about "that man". Knowing my son, he won't forget about it........and come to think of it, I wouldn't want him to!


How To Start A Business In South Carolina said...

It has been a long journey for improvements on civil rights and equality, and with Obama being sworn in, the civil rights movement have come full circle since the "I have a dream speech". I hope Obama can concentrate on increasing jobs, advancing education, and the decreasing of our dependence on fossil fuels.

Mama Monkey said...

What a beautiful conversation! I am so glad you got it all down -- that is a keeper.

Lee Ann Lambert said...

I commend you on creating such an awareness with your kids about history, hope, life, all of it, and for taking time to let your little ones dream big - even about getting maps to head to heaven for a discussion with ML King.

Mom Guide said...

That was beautiful. Thank you for sharing.