Create an Obama Poster – SCOPES-DF

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Sarah Wallace
Sarah Wallace
Fablab manager
I run the Cleveland Mobile Fab Lab of MC2 STEM High School.   I work with K-8 teachers in the Cleveland Metro School District to expose young learners to the wonders of Digital Fabrication through fun, artistic, STEM projects.    Previously,… Read More


Students will engage with concepts of leadership and service and reflect on MLK and Obama’s legacy in a variety of different ways before creating their own ‘Obama Hope’ poster.

What You'll Need

  • Computers
  • Internet access
  • Camera
  • Optional: Printer
  • Optional: Laser cutter



The Instructions

Martin Luther King Jr. Day Resources

Teachers can use any of the following resources to introduce students to Martin Luther King Jr, Martin Luther King Jr Day and black history in the United States.

Teachervision has a great compilation of resources and lessons for MLK day for different grade levels:


The YouTube video from PBSNews is a nice overview of MLK day and student engagement (2011)


This is a great, short lesson about Ruby Bridges from Stanford University.


MLK Wordsearch – PDF




A good leader acts in service of the people they represent, Have your students discuss what service means and how they can be of service to others in our modern, covid impacted world.

Have younger students draw a picture of the service they provided to someone in their family.

Older students can write a short descriptive essay explaining what they did and how it helped another person.




Martin Luther King Jr. and Barack Obama

Have students read the articles from National Geographic Kids on MLK and Barack Obama:


Have students create a Venn Diagram about what they learned about MLK and Obama.


Design and Create

The iconic HOPE poster designed by artist Shepard Fairey is recognizable around the world. The style of the poster has been recreated with other historical figures with other statements. One example is the MLK ‘DREAM’ poster.

  1. Have students learn more about the iconic HOPE poster designed by artist Shepard Fairey.
  2. Have you students talk about what HOPE and DREAM mean to them.
  3. Make a list of other words that inspire change for the better good.
  4. Have each student choose their favorite word from the list.
  5. Have you students take a ‘presidential’ picture (encourage them to dress up!)
  6. Use for each student to create their own poster and screen shot it to share with the group.



Optional - Laser Cutter/Buttons

If you have access to a laser cutter, you could use the laser cutter to engrave the posters into a piece of wood for students to make into magnets, or to display. 


You could also print out the posters to create buttons!

Extension Activities

After the students design their symbol it is up to the teacher to expand on the activity the following are some ideas that would work. Please let the MFL team know if you think of anything that should be added to this list!


ART: have students print out their photo in black and white and color it with red and blue to match Shepard Fairey’s style.


HISTORY: Focus on MLKs mission and how it lives on today.


MATH: Have students look up the crowd numbers for MLK speeches and Barack Obama’s speeches (or other polital/historical figures) Have them create a ratio of attendance.


ELA:  There are countless books about MLK out there and writing exercises for students of all grades to engage with!

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