What was the March?
Discuss as a group the purpose of the March
, and poll students to see what they already know about the events: Why was it important? How many people were there? Where did it take place? Use your discussion to create a full picture of the event and confirm that everyone understands the topic.
Listen to all or part of King's speech
, according to your students' grade and skill level. Upper grades may be able to listen to the entire speech, while others may need to concentrate on one part of the text, usually the most famous closing sentences.
Consider watching together portions of the PBS series "Eyes on the Prize,"
(American Experience) which may be found in an audio described version through your library network or talking book library.
Who Was Present?
As a group, form a list of "characters" who were present at the March. Students may name specific individuals (such as Dr. King, or Josephine Baker), roles in the march (such as bus driver or student protestor), or "walks of life" (such as grandmother) and suggest reasons that someone would have attended the march.
What Was it Like?
In this activity, students will use their creative and critical thinking skills to imagine being present at the March, as one of the “characters” the group has suggested. Students will select a persona for their writing, or a role can be assigned. You may need to give writing prompts to get students started. Some are suggested below. Other students may enjoy researching for their paper, or interviewing each other.
Where were you during Dr. King’s address?
What part of his message was most meaningful to you?
Why did you attend the March? How did you get to Washington D.C.?
What do you remember about the scene that day?
What do you want people to remember about Dr. King and his message?