Wouldn't it be great if public libraries and museums had close relationships? Imagine this: you could stop in your local library and find a display of books with recommended field trip extensions. How much more meaningful does a book become when you can actually experience it?
A pack of informative books on dinosaurs might be connected to a trip to a natural history museum. A series on artists may be connected to a particular gallery at a local art museum.
Or better yet, what if museum information desks offered books you could check out before entering an exhibit, and then return when your visit was over?
In this spirit, "Inspire Me Now" will regularly feature children's books connected to places in Washington, DC. Up first is Martin's Big Words by Doreen Rappaport. Some of Martin's most famous big words were spoken during his "I Have a Dream Speech" at the Lincoln Memorial. What better place to read this book with your child?
Martin's Big Words incorporates real words from Dr. King's speeches with illustrations of historical events. The book's language is accessible to children as young as four, which is unusual for a biography.
Begin your trip to the Lincoln Memorial by walking up the steps of the Lincoln Memorial and exploring the site. Talk with your child about Abraham Lincoln and how he is recognized for paving the path to end slavery in the United States. The Lincoln Memorial is viewed by many people as an enduring symbol of freedom, and it is for this reason that the Lincoln Memorial was selected as the site of many civil rights events.
Sit down on the steps and take in the view. Read with your child.
When you finish the book, ask your child to think of a few big words of their own. Is there something they really care about? Is there a cause they would like to help? Write down some big words.
Find the plaque on the steps indicating where Martin Luther King made his famous "I have a Dream" speech. Let your child stand on the historic plaque. Then, have your child deliver his/ her big words, imagining that there are crowds standing all the way through the National Mall listening.
When you return home, take the time to watch the historic footage of Dr. King's "I Have a Dream Speech," which can be viewed here:
Planning your Trip:
The Lincoln Memorial is located on The National Mall as part of West Potomac Park. The nearest Metro station is Foggy Bottom/ GWU, on the blue and orange lines. It is just over a half a mile walk from the Metro Station.
Lincoln Memorial National Monument: Visitor InformationMartin's Big Words: Information about the book