This Birmingham Jail Key replica is intended to serve as a classroom manipulative for Martin Luther King Jr. Day and Black History Month. The artefact asks students to think about the long struggle and sacrifices of the people involved in the Civil Right Movement.
One lesson idea would be to use the key as a Mystery Artifact where students take on the role of historical experts and have to research and present the significance and historical value of the object. Students would need to discover the connection between the key and Martin Luther King Jr. and then the significance of the Letter from Birmingham Jail. See Antiques Roadshow, American Pickers or Pawn Stars as possible templates for the class presentations. Further discussion might lead to the topic of nonviolent civil disobedience.
What is this object?
What does it do?
What is its historical significance?
The key is an example of the type of artifacts that students might produce for Design Challenge - MLK 2017 https://designmaketeach.com/2017/01/05/design-challenge-mlk-2017/
See also MLK March on Washington Button & Lesson Plan
For photo of a Birmingham Jail Key from 1963 or info about Martin Luther King Jr.'s Letter from Birmingham Jail, visit the following links.
If you or your students would like to help improve the text description for this piece or contribute a more accurate model, please leave a comment or contact me on Twitter @DesignMakeTeach