Objectives/Overview: Looking for a way for students to find the passion in the Civil Rights Movement and “I Have a Dream” speech? After listening to the audio of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.’s “I Have a Dream Speech,” students will locate words in the speech that connect to the Civil Rights Movement and create a diamond-shaped poem of their own. Through the poem students will express their own thoughts of the meaning of the poem and the movement.
Time Needed: two 45-minute class sessions.
Writing skills (traits) to stress while teaching this lesson:
- Idea Development (writing with a clear, central idea or theme in mind)
- Organization (beginning the writing with a strong introduction; ending the writing with a satisfying conclusion by linking theconclusion back to the introduction)
- Word Choice (using precise nouns to assist the reader’s understanding; incorporating interesting adjectives into the writing; and using strong verbs to keep the sentences interesting)
- Voice (conveying passion towards the message of the writing or the topic)
- Conventions (spelling skills; and capitalizations skills)
- Read We Dream of a World to the class.
- Discuss the challenges that people face today that were discussed in the book and others students come up with.
- Pass out copies of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.’s “I Have a Dream" speech.
- Play the audio of the speech and have students follow along.
- Students then highlight interesting words, words they don’t know, and words they feel are linked to the civil rights movement.
- Students look up definitions of unknown words.
- Pass out 20 index cards to each student.
- Students choose 20 words to write on the 20 index cards.
- Students choose 16 cards to create their poem, arranging and rearranging, until they feel their poem is finished, working on word choice, word order, beginning and ending.
- Students transfer their chosen index card words onto the diamante (diamond) poem template
- Students type their poems in the computer lab and share.
- Teacher evaluates poems with the lesson rubric (made at the Rubistar website).