Lesson plan

Martin Luther King, Jr.: I Have A Dream

Use this lesson to show your students that dreams can become reality with dedication and determination. This lesson will teach them about a man who made his dream come true by standing firm in front of the most challenging obstacles.
GradeSubjectView aligned standards
  • Students will be able to gather information from different sources about Martin Luther King, Jr.
(5 minutes)
I Have a Dream WorksheetMartin Luther King Jr. Crossword PuzzleMartin Luther King, Jr: Historical Heroes
  • Ask your students what they know about Martin Luther King Junior.
  • Create a word web with all the information they know about him.
  • Tell your students that they will learn more about Martin Luther King, Jr. and his famous "I Have a Dream" speech.
(30 minutes)
  • Go over the first page of the I Have a Dream worksheet with your students.
  • Explain each dream to your students in detail with an example.
  • An example for the first dream could be explaining to your students that even though the United States was based on the idea of equality, African Americans were not treated equally. For example, they were not allowed to sit in the same buses as other races even after they were no longer slaves.
(30 minutes)
  • Show your students the video Martin Luther King by the Biography Channel.
  • Ask your students to take notes on the video. Have them write at least ten facts from the video.
  • Instruct them to share what they wrote with a partner.
  • Choose students to share one idea that they wrote with the class.
(20 minutes)
  • Ask your students to complete the Holidays: Martin Luther King, Jr. Day crossword using their video notes.
  • Go over the crossword as a class.

Enrichment:

  • Explain the concept of racism and inequality to your students. Explain to your students that there are still groups of people who face discrimination and inequality.
  • Ask your students to research two groups that face racism or inequality either locally or globally.
  • Have students to write a four paragraph essay about the type of discrimination and inequality that the two groups face and why.
  • Tell students to use at least two books or articles to find information for their essays.

Support:

  • Preview the video with students and allow them to draw or use fragments to write their ten facts throughout the movie. Give them extra time to refine their facts after the video.
  • Allow students to discuss their ideas with their elbow partners before sharing them with the class.
  • Ask your students to answer the 5 W questions (e.g., Who, What,When, where, and Why) about Martin Luther King. A few examples of W questions could include: Who was MLK Jr.? What did he do? Why did he fight for equality and justice?
(10 minutes)
  • Ask your students to complete the Martin Luther King, Jr: Civil Rights Leader worksheet.
(20 minutes)
  • Ask your students to complete the second page of the I Have a Dream worksheet.
  • Ask your students to share their dreams with the class.

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