Wednesday, January 7, 2015

English Language Arts: "Martin Luther King Day Activity - 'Dare to Dream'"

Teaching across the curriculum has always been a focus of mine. After all, reading comprehension, writing and higher-level thinking skills are not exclusive to English classrooms. Having students examine why a piece is endemic to the time period when it was written is crucial. When they study the social, political and spiritual mores as well as the traditions of a period they can understand the characters, their choices and the events that occurred more readily.

"Martin Luther King Day Activity - 'Dare to Dream'"
This pairing can be just as effective when starting with an event from a previous period and showing it through the eyes and minds of a literary or narrative non-fiction person.  With this Martin Luther King Day Activity- Dare to Dream, students use Mr. King's "I Have a Dream" speech as the podium for a character of their choice to voice his/her thoughts, beliefs and feelings.

To complete this activity, the students are to:

  • Read and or view and listen to Rev. King's "I Have a Dream" speech. Two URLs are included-one to read and the other to listen and view.

  • Explain what aspects of his speech have come true in the 40+ years since it was delivered
    "Martin Luther King Day Activity - 'Dare to Dream'" Activity
  • Choose a character from the story that they are currently reading and summarize what he/she would say about the speech.
  • Write an "I Have a Dream" speech from the point of view of that character. This speech must show the societal values and beliefs of the time period in which the story takes place.

With this lesson, students will exhibit their range of thinking skills from knowledge through evaluation. These activities allow them to show their understanding of their reading from various texts as well as  to reveal their analytic and critical-thinking skills in their writing and speaking.

The speech writing aspect of this lesson helps students to understand Voice because the thoughts, beliefs and feelings that they express are not theirs, but are owned by the character they have chosen to speak. In order to compose this speech, the students show how clearly they can analyze this literary person.

On the due date, students have the opportunity to share a portion of their writing with their peers.

"Martin Luther King Day Activity - 'Dare to Dream'" Teacher Notes
Download this highly-rated activity that continues to develop students' reading, writing, speaking and listening and language skills from http://www.teacherspayteachers.com/Product/Martin-Luther-King-Day-Activity-Dare-to-Dream-193708. Complete with detailed Teacher Notes, it's a $1.25 bargain.








Happy Teaching,