Famous Speeches: Martin Luther King's "I Have a Dream"

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New Review

The 1963 March on Washington, powerfully punctuated by Martin Luther King's impassioned "I Have a Dream" speech, was instrumental in passing the Civil Rights Act just one year later. A reading assignment presents the written speech alongside five questions on content, message, and structure.

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CCSS: Adaptable
Instructional Ideas

  • Use in a study on the civil rights movement or during Black History Month
  • Have class members watch the speech after reading it, and discuss the effectiveness of each medium
  • Project the speech onto the wall and prompt class members to note the figurative language, including extended metaphors
Classroom Considerations

  • Attached versions of the resource paraphrase the speech into different Lexile® levels, which makes the central message more accessible, but takes away from King's famous, eloquent wording

  • Questions connect to Common Core standards for informational text
  • Multiple versions make it easy to differentiate within the same classroom

  • None