I Have a Dream: The Story of Martin Luther King Discussion Guide
How to engage students on topics covered in the book, including how the civil rights leader brought about change in America.
- Grades: 3–5
About this book
Creating Interest in the Book
Ask students if they have ever seen someone being treated unfairly. Explore how unfair treatment can make people feel frustrated and angry. Point out that Martin Luther King Jr., devoted his life to protecting the rights of people who were treated unfairly. Turn to some photographs in the book and read the captions. Then invite students to read the book to find out more about the life of Dr. King and his contributions.
- Point out that Dr. King's birthday is celebrated as a holiday and that he won the Nobel Peace Prize for his nonviolent efforts to break down the barriers of segregation. Encourage students to contribute their own knowledge of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.
- Invite students to discuss what they think people can do to change laws and attitudes that are unfair.
Ask students if they have ever seen a film or TV show about the life of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Encourage them to relate some of the events of his life. Point out that Dr. King gave speeches and led marches to protest the unfair treatment of African Americans, and the result of these actions was to create change in the lives of all Americans. Explain that when one thing causes another thing to happen, which causes something else to happen, it is called a chain of cause and effect. As students read I Have a Dream, tell them to look for what happened in Dr. King's life and how he brought about change in America.
Setting the Stage for Independence
Ask students to look carefully at the cover of the book. Point out that the man pictured is Martin Luther King Jr., and explain that he was a southern minister who led the fight to end segregation in a nonviolent way. Then have students read the copy on the back cover. As they read the book, have them take notes about the various boycotts and marches led by Dr. King and the effects the boycotts and marches had on the United States at that time. Encourage students to list words and ideas that they don't understand on a separate sheet of paper.