Spatial Requirements: Regular classroom setup; little or no space required
Activity Type: Group
Group Size: 1 or more
Time: 40 minutes
- Pen and paper for each student
- “I Have a Dream” speech excerpt sheet OR “I Have a Dream” speech excerpt video from YouTube (one example is https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3vDWWy4CMhE )
Together as a group, read or listen to an excerpt of Martin Luther King’s “I Have a Dream” speech. If you have students read the speech, print it out and give each student a copy so they can highlight their favorite parts as you read.
Discuss some of the history surrounding this speech – what effects did it have on the African-American community? What changes did this speech bring about?
Discuss racism in the 21st century. What kind of racism do we see in our school? In our community? In the media? What other kinds of discrimination exist in these areas?
Now it is time for students to come up with their own “dream speech” for the future.
Write about some segregation, discrimination, or racism that you would like to see changed, and how you would go about changing it.
Please put thought into your speeches.
Invite students to share their speeches with the class.
Questions to answer and write down:
- How did Martin Luther King, Jr. use the pain and discrimination he was experiencing in a positive way? Was his energy directed toward a person or a cause?
- What can be done in our school and community to support Martin Luther King, Jr.’s dream?
- What can the life of Martin Luther King, Jr. teach us about what one person can do to make a difference?
- Martin Luther King, Jr. knew what he stood for. Why do you think this is important for a person who is trying to make a difference?