MLK Day and Public Speaking Idea

The other day a fellow 4thgrade teacher approached me and said, “When I told the students that Monday was MLK Jr Day and we were out of school, the kids asked me who MLK was. That surprises me!” Well, time to teach those 4th graders who MLK Jr was and what he did in our nation’s history!
As I was searching the internet for an idea, project, lesson, whatever you want to call it, I decided that I wanted my students to not only learn who Martin Luther King Jr. was and what he did for our nation, but I also wanted them to come up with dreams of their own and share them with the world. So after a lot of research, I think I have managed to compile a few wonderful ideas into one plan that should take about 3 class periods. Enjoy!
Homework: Students will watch the “History: Bet You Didn’t Know- March on Washington” vimeo video and answer questions via Edpuzzle. Find the Vimeo video here.
Here are the questions/answers I inserted into the video:
Minute 1:19: King was honored to present last at the March on Washington gathering. Answer: False
Minute 1:41: King was supposed to speak for 4 minutes. Answer: True
Minute 2:00: King had not planned on giving his “I Have a Dream” speech that day, so why did he end up giving the “I Have a Dream” Speech? Answer: Mahalia Jackson from the audience yelled, “Tell ‘em about your dream!”
At the end of the video I posed the following challenge: Tomorrow in class we will be writing our very own “I Have a Dream” speeches. Take some time tonight to jot down a few dreams you have that would positively affect our world and bring it with you tomorrow in class.
Next day in class activity: As a class, we will watch the “I Have a Dream” video found on Youtube. (Click here to access video.) After we view the video, we will de-brief and discuss where his dreams came from and why he felt that way. Students will then use this template which I found as a free download on After students fill in their template, we will record them giving their speeches using the camera app on their iPads. We will then add their recordings to our school Youtube page so that parents, friends, and anyone else who is interested can view our dreams. I can’t wait to see their finished products!  

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