“I Have a Dream” at 50: Teaching the Legacy of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.
“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 their character.” -Martin Luther King, Jr.
It was a call for union in a country deeply divided. On August 28, 1963, Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. delivered what has become one of the most famous orations in our country’s history. The “I Have a Dream” speech was the defining moment of the March on Washington, a massive protest rally that called for civil and economic rights for African Americans.
50 years later, we encourage teachers, parents, and students to explore the life and legacy of the late Dr. King, who was assassinated less than five years after his rousing speech. BrainPOP offers a wealth of resources on this topic that are aligned to both state and Common Core teaching standards:
- For older students, our Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. topic includes a short biographical movie; a quiz; activity pages; and FYIs, which feature several high-interest informational texts about Dr. King. Teachers may also be interested in our user-mixed quizzes, “MLK Quiz” and “Martin Luther King, Jr and Civil Rights“.
- Students in grades K-3 can watch the BrainPOP Jr. movie on Dr. King and explore the topic’s many interactive features, from a sequencing game to drawing and writing activities.
- BrainPOP Educators offers a bundle of seven lesson plans related specifically to Dr. King and the civil rights movement. Of particular interest for teachers this week, we recommend the Dr. King, Similes, and Metaphors Lesson Plan, which encourages students to read Dr. King’s full “I Have a Dream” speech and deconstruct it word for word. Older students might also comment on ways in which Dr. King’s stated hopes for America may or may not have come to fruition.
- On GameUP, students can learn more about civics and Constitutional rights, with games including Argument Wars, Law Craft, and Supreme Decision.
How are you commemorating this major milestone in your classroom? We’d love to hear from you in the comments below.
Be sure to visit our BrainPOP and the Common Core support page for more information.