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6 Engaging I Have a Dream Activities

I Have a Dream Activities

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I Have a Dream Activities

I Have a Dream activities are a wonderful way to help upper elementary and younger students learn about Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.’s life and his famous speech that has inspired millions of people through the years. Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. dedicated his life to achieving equality and justice for all people. He believed the best way to accomplish this goal was to protest and peacefully disobey unjust laws. His work paved the way for equal rights to reach all Americans, regardless of their color, race, or religion.

Here are 6 I Have a Dream activities to use on MLK Day, during Black History Month, or at anytime of year to help your students learn more about the Dr. King and his I Have a Dream speech.

I Have a Dream Activities

1. I Have a Dream Speech Close Read

I Have a Dream Activities Close Reading

Guide your 4th, 5th, and 6th grade level students toward having a firm understanding of the words of Dr. King’s famous, powerful speech by completing a Close Read. A Close Read is a fabulous way to gain a better understanding of a short piece of text. While the famous “I Have a Dream” speech is a bit longer, you can still utilize the Close Read process.  If you feel the speech is too lengthy for a Close Read, break it down into smaller sections.

2. Listen to the Famous Speech

There really is no better way for students to truly learn about the famous speech than to listen to a live recording of Dr. King delivering the speech on Aug. 28, 1963, on the steps of the Lincoln Memorial. NPR’s Talk of the Nation aired the speech in 2010 in one of its broadcasts. You can choose to listen to pieces of the speech or the entire broadcast. Either way, it is a highly-inspirational listen, and one your students will not soon forget.

3. Write a Personal I Have a Dream Speech

After reading or listening to the speech, give students an opportunity to write about their own dreams to make the world a better place. Use a prewriting organizer like this one in the Martin Luther King
Activities Packet
, or create your own, and then provide time to edit, revise, and write a final draft worthy of a MLK Day or Black History Month bulletin board display. Out of many I Have a Dream activities, this is one of my favorites!

4. Acrostic Poem

Have your upper elementary students write an acrostic poem related to Martin Luther King, Jr. by either providing them with words like DREAM or MARTIN, or let them choose their own related word. Then, fill in each line of the DREAM acrostic poem by thinking of a word of phrase that begins with each letter in the words “MY DREAM.” Remind students to be descriptive and remember to use their five senses when they are writing. The poems do not need to rhyme, but they do need to create a picture in your reader’s mind.

5. Create a Martin Luther King, Jr. Timeline

Help students to learn and understand some of the key events in the life of Dr. King by creating a timeline. Students can either research to find and list the major events, or you can provide them with a ready-to-go timeline activity like the one in this Martin Luther King, Jr. Activities Packet.

6. Read a Book to Your Students

There are so many great picture books and read-alouds that are perfect for further researching and learning about Dr. King’s life! Choose one or two and read them to your students before, during, and/or after your other I Have a Dream activities. Find a few suggestions in this other Martin Luther King, Jr. activities blog post.

These are just a few ideas for celebrating the life of Dr. King and learning about his contributions toward equality and justice. Martin Luther King, Jr. Day falls on the 3rd Monday of January each year. It marks the perfect opportunity for remembering Martin Luther King, Jr.

Click below to see the complete, ready-to-go Martin Luther King Jr. Activities Packet:

Martin Luther King Activities

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Shelly Rees

Hi, I’m Shelly! Thank you for being here. I love helping third, fourth, and fifth grade teachers with fun and engaging activities that require no to little prep! Let me help you by taking some of the stress and work off your plate.

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Hi, I'm Shelly

Hi, I’m Shelly! Thank you for being here. I love helping third, fourth, and fifth grade teachers with fun and engaging activities that require no to little prep! Let me help you by taking some of the stress and work off your plate.

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