Frequent Speech Sounds:

/er/ medial and final
/ar/ medial
/k/ initial and final
/ing/ final
/g/ final
/bl/ initial


Black History Month

Book Details:
Diverse Characters: Yes
Age Recommendation: Elementary, Late Elementary, Middle School

Martin’s Big Words

By Doreen Rappaport

Martin Luther King, Jr., was one of the most influential and gifted speakers of all time. Doreen Rappaport uses quotes from some of his most beloved speeches to tell the story of his life and his work in a simple, direct way. Bryan Collier’s stunning collage art combines remarkable watercolor paintings with vibrant patterns and textures. A timeline and a list of additional books and websites help make this a standout biography of Dr. King.

This biographical Black History Month book can be used in speech therapy to address social/emotional issues like human rights. It is also great for analyzing character traits and for discussing how to treat others that are different from us. Discover more of the speech and language teaching concepts for using Martin’s Big Words in speech therapy below: 

Key Teaching Concepts

Narrative Structure:


Narrative Concepts:

character analysis
text features
illustration study


segregation, southern cities, hymns, Bible, father, preach, minister, nation, blistering, citizen, courage, human rights, protest, demand, convince, movement

Character Analysis:

Martin believed there was a way for people of all colors to live together. He was studious and well spoken and people listened to Martin because they wanted to fight for what was right. Martin made people believe change was possible and that we could coexist.

What did Martin believe about people?
How was Martin’s conflict resolution different from others?
How would you describe Martin’s personality?
Why did they keep marching?
How do we remember him today?


Rosa Parks and Martin Luther King were standing up to injustice and striving for equality for blacks.

What are some ways we can show people who are different than us respect?

Figurative Language:

What does he mean by “big words”?
How can words be “big”?

Text Features:

bold text
enlarged quotes


Why did Martin think together and peace was better than separate and war?
Why did Rosa Parks not get up out of her seat?
Why did other black citizens not ride the bus?
What did they think that would do?
Why were they marching?
Why did whites fear Martin?
Why do we celebrate Martin Luther King Day and Black History Month?