The writing prompt was “Just like Martin Luther King Jr., I…”
They’d been studying MLK for weeks. They knew the man had a dream. They’d learned about comparing and contrasting, and right before I passed out the papers we went over what “similarities” are.
I could see their little brains working as they got out their pencils. They were thinking about what they had studied about Martin Luther King, Jr. and were silently making connections to what they knew about themselves.
As I started walking around the classroom, peeking over their shoulders, I had to literally cover my mouth to keep them from seeing my smile. They scrunched up their second grade faces as they bent over their triple-lined paper, and I couldn’t resist grabbing a notebook so I could copy, verbatim, some of their responses.
Nothing about this assignment disappointed. Here are a couple of my favorite responses to a second grade writing prompt:
“Just like Martin Luther King, I had a dream that people could become human cats.”
“Just like Martin Luther King had a dream, I have a dream to play baseball. I am also really good at soccer.”
“Just like Martin Luther King, I brush my teeth a lot and I am a good person.”
“Just like Martin Luther King, I am black. I have black hair and I am a boy. When I grow up I will be a man.”
“Just like Martin Luther King, I don’t think racism is good. And I pray.”
“Just like Martin Luther King, I fight for justice when people don’t play fair.”
“Just like Martin Luther King I have a dream to be a builder and he had a dream to change the world.”
Thank you second graders, for making my life more amusing than it would be without you.
In 2013, I quit my job and bought a one-way ticket to Thailand. After four months of backpacking I returned to the States and fell in love with a guy whose job sent us straight back to Asia. Nothing has gone according to plan... and it's been absolutely magical.