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I Have A Dream

Do you have a dream? Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. did and he wrote about it in his famous speech in 1963. Commemorate his message by writing and illustrating an acrostic poem with Crayola® Washable Markers.

  • Grade 3
    Grade 4
    Grade 5
  • 30 to 60 minutes
  • Directions

    1. Read or listen to Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.’s I Have a Dream speech. As a whole class, discuss the impact of MLK's speech on the American Civil Rights Movement.
    2. Invite students to write an acrostic poem using the word DREAM. Use the letters in the word DREAM to write each line of the poem. Relate the lines of the poem to Dr. King’s speech or his impact on the American civil rights movement.
    3. Color and illustrate the poem using Crayola Washable Markers.
    4. Post student poems on a classroom bulletin board for easy viewing by classmates and visitors.
  • Standards

    LA: Read and comprehend informational texts, including history/social studies, science, and technical texts, at the high end of the grade level text complexity band independently and proficiently.

    LA: Participate in collaborative conversations with diverse partners about grade level topics and texts with peers and adults in small and larger groups.

    LA: Paraphrase portions of a text read aloud or information presented in diverse media and formats, including visually, quantitatively, and orally.

    LA: Conduct short research projects to answer a question, drawing on several sources and refocusing the inquiry when appropriate.

    LA: Report on a topic or text, tell a story, or recount an experience with appropriate facts and relevant, descriptive details, speaking clearly at an understandable pace.

    SS: Compare ways in which people from different cultures think about and deal with their physical environment and social conditions.

    SS: Identify and use various sources for reconstructing the past, such as documents, letters, diaries, maps, textbooks, photos, and others.

    SS: Use knowledge of facts and concepts drawn from history, along with elements of historical inquiry, to inform decision-making about and action-taking on public issues.

    SS: Identify and describe examples of tensions between an individual's beliefs and government policies and laws.

    SS: Show how groups and institutions work to meet individual needs and promote the common good, and identify examples of where they fail to do so.

    VA: Intentionally take advantage of the qualities and characteristics of art media, techniques, and processes to enhance communication of experiences and ideas.

    VA: Select and use the qualities of structures and functions of art to improve communication of ideas.

  • Adaptations

    Possible classroom resources include: I Have a Dream by Martin Luther King, Jr.; Martin's Big Words: The Life of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. by Doreen Rappaport; My Brother Martin: A Sister Remembers Growing Up with the Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. by Christine King Ferris

    Encourage student groups to create a timeline of events attributed to the Civil Rights Movement. Students provide 1-2 sentence description of each event and an illustration of each to accompany each event. Display in the classroom for easy reference.

    Students work individually or in teams of two while investigating a single event from the Civil Rights Movement such as the March on Washington, Rose Parks, the Greensboro Sit-Ins, Ruby Bridges, etc. Write a summary of research and combine it will an illustration of the event or person researched.

    Invite students to research the first black Supreme Court Justice, Thurgood Marshall. Who was he? How did he get appointed to the bench? Where was he educated? What about this man made him suited to sit on the highest court in the land?


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  • Creativity.
  • Capacity.
  • Collaboration.
  • Change.
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