Analyzing Martin Luther King, Jr.’s “I Have a Dream” Speech



Martin Luther King, Jr.’s “I Have a Dream” speech was delivered from the steps of the Lincoln Memorial on August 28, 1963. This lesson is based on the last 5 minutes of the speech.

The focus of this lesson is analyzing how King’s delivery impacts our understanding of the speech as compared to just reading the text. Download the worksheet, which has the text of the speech followed by five questions about the tone and the effect of hearing versus simply reading it.

1) Use the worksheet provided and read Martin Luther King, Jr.’s “I Have a Dream” speech.

I Have a Dream Worksheet

2) Watch the video and listen to King’s delivery. Pay special attention to his tone of voice and the repetition of phrases.  Answer the questions when you have finished watching. It may be helpful to read over the questions before watching the video.

Standard: ELA-Literacy.RI.7.7
Compare and contrast a text to an audio, video, or multimedia version of the text, analyzing each medium’s portrayal of the subject (e.g., how the delivery of a speech affects the impact of the words).

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