Lesson Plan

Dr. King's Dream

Dr. Martin Luther King during a press conference.
Photo caption

Dr. Martin Luther King during a press conference.

"I have a dream that my four little children will one day live in a nation where they will not be judged by the color of their skin but by the content of their character."

~ Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. 

In this lesson, students will learn about the life and work of civil rights leader Martin Luther King, Jr. Students will listen to a brief biography, view photographs of the March on Washington, view a portion of King's "I Have a Dream" speech delivered in August 1963, and discuss what King's words mean to them. Finally, they will create picture books about their own dreams of freedom for Americans today.

For background information on the topics included in this lesson, see the resource list at the bottom of this lesson plan. You might begin by visiting the Seattle Times's Martin Luther King Jr. site, which can be reached through the EDSITEment-reviewed Martin Luther King, Jr. Papers Project website.

Guiding Questions

What do we mean by the term "civil rights"?

Who was Martin Luther King, Jr. and how did he fight for civil rights?

What can we learn from the words of Dr. King's "I Have a Dream" speech?

What parts of Dr. King's dream have or have not been realized in the present day?

Learning Objectives

Understand the reasons for the work Martin Luther King, Jr. did.

Analyze sections of King's "I Have a Dream" speech to determine meaning and symbolism.

Examine why inequities still exist in the United States.