Lesson Title "Has the Dream Come True."

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Lesson Plan

Grade/Content Area

Grade 11- Social Studies.

Lesson Title

"Has the Dream Come True."

Context of the Lesson

Where does this lesson fit in the curriculum and instructional context? Is it the opening of a unit or a series of lessons?

The lesson is to be given at the end of a unit on the African-American Civil Rights Movement . Will serve as a conclusion to lessons about the lives and accomplishments of Martin Luther King Jr. and Malcomb X, wherein the student has evaluated and decided which basic rights a governement is obligated to provide each citizen and what is proper behavior between like and unlike (Racial, religious, sexual orientation differences) citizens. By the time the lesson is given the student should have a firm grasp on what is entailed in life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness, and be able to understand the purpose civil rights leaders had in addressing the Constitution and how it applied to African-Americans of the day. Lesson Should be given in two class sessions, the first adressing King Jr's speech followed by debate-the second giving students the oppurtunity for silent writing (assesment) and individual help from the teacher.

Opportunities to Learn
Definition: Materials, Learners and Environments

Plans to differentiate instruction: Lesson will require in depth analysis of Martin Luther King Jr's "I Have a Dream Speech." The speech will be shown in video format with hope to engage kinesthetic learners-auditory learners will also appreciate this format. For linguistic learners, text of the speech will be provided for students to follow along while they listen- and also for use later in the class.
Environment factors: Lesson entails debate and discussion revovling around matters of race and freedom. For this reason it is important that all students feel encouraged to express themselves whether their opinions run parallel or are contradictary to popular beleif. It is also very important that students keep in mind the rules of classroom behavior and to make sure every student feels safe enough to share his opinions.

With regard to engagement, all students should have a clear view and be able to hear the video being shown.

--Text- Copy of King's "I Have a Dream" speech. Copy should be fully cited.

--Video of the aforesaid speech.

--Paper and pencil for notetaking.


The student will determine whether the hopes set forth in Martin Luther King Jr's "I Have a Dream" speech have been realized through the election of Barack Obama. The student will be assessed through a short essay including three tangible pieces of evidence to support the students opinion.

Instructional Procedures

Opening: Hello class! I want to tell you a story about a dream I had. I wasn't sleeping when I had this dream, I was actually wide awake- you know- day dreaming. And when I day dream I seem to always think about the things that matter most to me; my family, my hopes, my aspirations, what we do here in class even comes to me when I'm day dreaming. I think about you guys and I wonder what the world will be like when your my age, or what the world will be like when your children are going to high school. Most of my dreams are idealistic, we know what idealism means from the segments we did on Civil Disobedience and when we learned about Mahatma Ghandi in India. Men and women like Ghandi, Rosa Parks, and many we have read and talked about were all daydreamers like you and I.

So, in the daydream I had, I was standing in the crowd at the March on Washington, we remember that was the day MLK gave his "I have a Dream" speech. When Dr.King finished his speech I asked him to come with me to today. To come with me to 2008 and tell me whether he felt his dream had finally come true. I told him that a man named Barack Obama was elected president and that I knew the two of them would really like to talk to each other.... Yeah I know... kinda wierd but what would the world be like without wierdos daydreaming like me and you right? Anyway, Martin Luther King wasn't able to come with me so all of you are going to have the oppurtunity to be him for today, or Rosa Parks- ladies, if you so choose. So lets begin...


Directly after the opening statement aimed at getting the kids to realize imagination and idealism are something they will always do and appreciate, ask a few of the students who are willing to share their idealistic dreams about the world to tell their dreams to the other students in class. After a short discussion about how most of our dreams effect other people in a way that makes their lives better make a segway back to Martin Luther Kings dream and how it is not entirely unlike the ones we mentioned ourselves having. Let the students know that Dr. King would definetly feel their dreams are just as important as the one he had.
Spoken Segway to Film- Now we have discussed our dreams, but I want to go back to my daydream that I told you about. We know that Barack Obama has been elected to be our President-I've got a question that is really important to me and I know you all can help me find the answer.
Write on the board: Does the election of Barack Obama mean that Martin Luther King's Dream has come true?
So, I want you to silently think about this for a few minutes, its ok if you come to your answer quickly but spend a few moments just thinking about this question and if you feel that electing a Black President might mean that race is not a problem in America anymore...... Ok good, now that we all have thought about this, I want to show you MLK's speech from that day long ago and as your watching pay attention to what he says his real hopes are. Try to take notes if you can or underline the words on the text of the speech of things you think might help you answer the question I've written on the board. Now, everyone get in a spot in the room where we can all see and hear the TV clearly. And while we watch this video I want you to really let your imaginations open up, if you really listen to what MLK is saying I'm sure you will all be very inspired...But remember, take notes as you may or underline the segments you think are important to answering the question I've given you.

-DO NOT, tell students they will be writing an essay, let them know that we will have a discussion about our feelings towards the answer of the question. Informing them there is a dreaded impending essay may make some students less apt to pay attention to the film if they feel they are not writing well enough to express their opinions clearly. Address their insecurities about writing their feelings when or if that time comes.
After the speech is shown, tell the students to think again for a few moments silently. Ask them to recall what they thought about before we watched the video and if their opinions have changed after hearing Kings speech. After they engage in this thought process, ask all the students who beleive that Barack Obamas election prooves Kings dream to have come true to move to one part of the room in their desks, and those who do not beleive it has come true to move to the other half of the class. When the groups (We can call them "yes" and "no") are divided, begin a debate about each other the following questions.

-Does electing a Black president mean there are not racist people in America?

-What is there in doctor Kings speech that does not come true by electing a black president, if anything?

-What else might have to happen if Dr. Kings dream had come true, besides the election of a Black President?
Ask students who have changed their minds about the question to go to the side of the class that now represents their answer.

Closure: Ok, so as you can see some of you have not changed your minds but some of you have. That is to be expected, its' good to change your mind about things, that means your learning, and its also good to stand firm in what you beleive in... in a way, we are all doing a little bit of both though, aren't we?

I think that Dr. King would be proud to see we could talk about something so emotional, so thought provoking, something we all clearly have strong opinions about. He would be even more proud to know we talked about it without hurting one another.

Tonight in your journals I want you to reflect on what we talked about; remember you only have to write for 20 minutes in your journal. Spend the first 5 minutes just writing about how you felt talking about this with your fellow students. Nothing you say here can be correct or incorrect, it's your feelings so express yourself any way you choose. In the last 15 minutes of your journal- try to really think about 3 solid reasons you feel one way or another about the question I have asked and written there on the board. Recall the things we have all said during our discussion if that helps you. When you come back tommorow, we are going to begin writing something more formal, an essay. The essay is going to be written tomorrow during class, we will have 50 minutes to write our essays. I will grade them as rough drafts. Those of you who are satisfied can keep that grade or make corrections for a better grade. Whats that mean? It means don't stress out. For tonight, just focus on reflecting and finding the three reasons most important to you-if you can do that, I promise that the essay will be easy for you to complete. So tonight, think and dream and I'll see you all tomorrow.


I will measure my objective with the essay to be completed the following day, supplimented by the students journal entry. The essay will be written in formal format and the final evaluation will be made when all re-writes are completed.

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