"I Have a Dream," Dr. Martin Luther King
Lesson plans and teaching resources
Analyzing King's "I Have a Dream" Speech Video
A 6-minute video of 4th graders reading the speech on the steps of the Lincoln Memorial.
Students identify and explain the persuasive devices used in "I Have a Dream." This lesson includes procedure and assessment but not a copy of the speech.
In this online activity students are given a visual prompt to write about what Dr. King means to our country today. Designed for younger students.
Dr. King's Dream
In this lesson designed for grades K-2, students learn about Dr. King and create picture books about their own dreams of freedom for Americans today.
Eyes Worldwide on the Prize: Viewing Dr. Martin Luther King's "I Have a Dream" Speech through a Global Lens
Students learn about the ways in which the words of Dr. King have impacted the Chinese people and government. They then examine cases of discrimination around the world and respond to Dr. King's famous 1963 "I Have a Dream" speech from the perspective of these marginalized populations.
How much progress have we made towards the dreams of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.?
Students study excerpts from the famous "I Have a Dream" speech by Martin Luther King, Jr. and use images to show progress (or lack of) towards that dream.
"I Have a Dream"
Text of the speech with video/audio. Runs about 17 1/2 minutes. The video comes from YouTube.com, which may be blocked at schools.
"I Have a Dream" Collective Banner
After reading about Dr. King, children contribute to a banner that states their dreams for a better world. Designed for lower elementary.
"I Have A Dream" Speech Analysis Lesson Plan
Students review literary terms, rhetorical devices and figurative language with a scavenger hunt. Adaptable for elementary through high school.
I Have a Metaphor
This lesson introduces the following literary devices: analogy, symbolism, use of chronology, personification, metaphor, figurative language and the effective use of repetition.
Keep on Pushing: Popular Music and the Civil Rights Movement from the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame
Music presents insights and multiple points of view as well as an emotional impact which other historical documents, particularly written, often lack. This unit focuses particularly on "protest" or "message" songs associated with the civil rights movement of the 1960s.
King's Dream Revisited
Students learn about King's life and legacy. They use a current newspaper to find examples of people exercising civil rights today.
Martin Luther King, Jr. Webquest
Students read a biography of Dr. King and then answer questions based on very specific web search instructions. Teachers should preview this activity to make sure the activities are appropriate for your students. Designed for grades 3-5. Adobe Reader required; 4 pages.
Speech Analysis: "I Have a Dream"
Video and text of the speech with 5 key rhetorical strategies emphasized: emphasize phrases by repetition, repeat key themes, use appropriate quotations or allusions, use specific examples, and use metaphors.
Write your own "I Have a Dream" Speech
Using a worksheet guide, students write speeches that imitate the form and content of Dr. King's speech.
The Dream Continued
"Students explore the impact of Martin Luther King Jr.'s words forty years after his death by creating found poems based on his 1968 obituary published in The New York Times."
How Big Are Martin's Big Words? (book by Doreen Rappaport)
"Using this book as well as other resources on Dr. King, students explore information on King's "big" words then choose one of two options: (1) they write about their own "big" words and dreams in stapled or stitched books, or (2) they construct found poems using an excerpt from one of King's speeches."
In King's Words: Examining the writings of Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. in Context and Texture
Students "students will explore the value of writings by Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. and create mixed media collages contextualizing one of his texts or speeches."
Martin Luther King, Jr., and the Civil Rights Movement
This extensive collection of articles and photographs from the Seattle Times includes texts of speeches and some brief audio files. It also offers more recent perspectives on the impact of the Civil Rights Movement.
Martin Luther King, Jr.: Words that changed a nation
This site explores Dr. King's writing in the context of the times.
Slide Show: Times Photographs of the Civil Rights Era
A collection of 17 photographs from the New York Times in the 60s and a link to a lesson on how to analyze them.