They Had a Dream

They had a dream—a dream so powerful it can still inspire citizens of today and the future. Here, young historians learn about the 1963 march on Washington led by Martin Luther King Jr. by closely examining a photograph of a meeting held after the march. They role play as a civil rights leader to write a letter to John F. Kennedy asking to have the meeting, and then they compare their letters to the actual letter written by A. Philip Randolph. A final assessment has your historians imagining what each of the participants at the meeting were thinking when the photograph was taken.

35 Views 29 Downloads
CCSS: Adaptable
Instructional Ideas

  • The historical background and context section serves as a good handout on its own
  • Run a google image search about this meeting to find additional images for the class to analyze
  • Once the class is practiced in writing formal letters, having them write formal letters to someone in a position of authority at their school about an issue important to them
Classroom Considerations

  • The link to the image is broken, although it's included in the resource
  • The image itself is not the greatest quality; find others online that are better quality but black and white—judge for yourself what makes more sense
Pros

  • Organization gives a clear road-map while leaving room for expansion with extension ideas
  • Having historians write their own letters before looking at the letter from Randolph is a great way to get them to think independently instead of simply copying Randolph's letter
Cons

  • None
Common Core