Thursday, January 17, 2013

Teaching "I Have a Dream" and the March on Washington

This week with my Social Studies classes, we have been talking about the March on Washington and the "I Have a Dream" speech. I wanted to share some of my lesson plan with everyone. One of the things that I focus on in class is a skill that the students will build in class that day.  Often a skill that I focus on in Social Studies classes is reading and decoding primary sources.

This week we focused on figuring out more information about a primary source by starting with the source.  My inspiration came from which helps you to investigate and examine a primary source that they provide.  The cool thing that the kids liked was the fact that they viewed a copy of an artifact that they could go see it in person at the Smithsonian.

After doing some group work about the artifact which was a handbill advertising the March, we started talking about the actual March.  I showed the students this video clip from ABCNews in 2008 on the 45th anniversary of the speech. This is the link:  The cool thing about this clip is that it contains interviews of people at the March, including Dr. King's Chief of Staff.  This gentleman informed us that King almost didn't make the "I Have a Dream" speech that day. He had given this speech about thirty other times, so they didn't want to repeat themselves again.  But even with a new speech written to be given that day, King decided to give the one he felt most comfortable with.

I ended the class with a discussion while we read the "I Have a Dream" speech. It was cool for the students to read the words and pick up on the speech techniques.  We ended by watching the last 5 minutes of the speech so that the students could hear his cadence.  Check out the school's blog for more information about our class that day: 

Image from:
and it is also on my wall in my classroom :)

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