EduGuide Challenge: The Drum Major

The Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.Visionary leader, inspiring orator, philosopher, agent of social change. In his too-short life, the Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. had many roles, all worthy of acknowledgement and remembrance. But how did HE want to be remembered?

In his sadly foreshadowing sermon, “The Drum Major Instinct,” delivered just months before his assassination, Dr. King told us:

If any of you are around when I have to meet my day, I don’t want a long funeral. And if you get somebody to deliver the eulogy, tell them not to talk too long. And every now and then I wonder what I want them to say. Tell them not to mention that I have a Nobel Peace Prize—that isn’t important. Tell them not to mention that I have three or four hundred other awards—that’s not important. Tell them not to mention where I went to school.

I’d like somebody to mention that day that Martin Luther King, Jr., tried to give his life serving others…I want you to say that I tried to love and serve humanity.

This is why we celebrate Dr. King’s birthday as a National Day of Service. And this day is also a fitting opportunity for students to reflect on their own core purpose and how they would like to be remembered, as an activity of self-realization and goal-setting.

To this end, nonprofit EduGuide has developed a free activity you can use with your students on Martin Luther King, Jr. Day, the following week, during Black History Month in February, or really any time of the year.

EduGuide Remembering Dr King Activity for students
EduGuide Remembering Dr King Activity Guide for teachers

Part of this activity asks students to reflect on and articulate their core purpose in terms of the difference they want to make for others. To take this even further, EduGuide is asking students in grades 6-12 to submit 1-5 minute videos articulating their message of the change they want to be in the world and how they plan to achieve that — for a chance to win a $1,000 scholarship and other prizes. More information and video submission form at

You can also download a PDF about the contest to share with your students.

Are you planning to use this activity with your students, or have you used it already? Tell us how it went in the comments!


4 Responses to “EduGuide Challenge: The Drum Major

  • Debra Phillips
    6 years ago

    I would like to make this challenge available to our students at Gaffney High School in SC. Can you please update the information to be for this coming year, thank you!

    • Hi Debra, Unfortunately the EduGuide 2015 Challenge was just for last year, and is not currently running. We are hoping to do another EduGuide Challenge for 2016, but it won’t be until later in the year. Thanks so much for your interest!

      • Debra Phillips
        6 years ago

        Thank you so much for getting back with me. I’ll check back for the next challenge!

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