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Thursday, January 12, 2012

Do you have a dream, too?


Martin Luther King, Jr. (MLK) worked to advance civil rights in the United States and around the world. A minister, King became a civil rights activist at an early age. At the 1963 March on Washington, King delivered his "I Have a Dream" speech, where he outlined his vision, or dream, for our country. In 1964, King became the youngest person to receive the Nobel Peace Prize for his work to end racial inequality.

That was MLK's dream. What's yours? Here's an easy and meaningful activity for school or home - a great opportunity for students to envision their “dreams”, think about what makes their dreams a reality, and share this information with others.

Modify this activity based on your grade level or subject area. For example, you can focus students on the community, North Carolina, the United States or another country. They might role-play a character in history, literature or in a global community.

Students of all ages can write about their dream, work in small groups or share with the class. The activity aligns with several core standards.
  • Skills include: Persuasion, Critical thinking, Analysis, Reading, Active listening, Writing, Civic literacy, Planning, Collaboration, Civic leadership, Effective communication, Government and Connecting historic events, personal knowledge, current events or global life

Do you have a dream?

  1. What does it mean to have a vision, idea, or dream for your country? Can you have a dream for your neighborhood? School? City? State? World?
  2. Think of something that is important to you. Here are some general topics: Animals, Schools, Sports, The environment, Safety, Jobs, Families, Health
  3. Now, think a little harder. What do you see that needs to change about your topic (animals, schools, the environment, etc.)?  An example might be that you dream of more trees in Charlotte so that children have air to breathe and birds have places to live. Or, you might want more teachers and textbooks at your school, so you can learn more.
  4. Are there examples of other people who have been working to make a similar dream come true? How did they do it? Did that make them a leader?
  5. Who do you need to talk to, or influence, to make your dream happen? Make a list. It could include community leaders, kids, adults, teachers, parents, school principals, the mayor, school board, city government, state government, news media, President, global leaders or others. As appropriate to the grade level, be specific about the levels of government and your topic area.
  6. How will you communicate your dream? How will their support make a difference?
  7. How long will it take for your dream to become real? Outline the general steps it will take.  Sometimes it is helpful to start at the end and work backwards.
  8. Now, think again about your dream – what’s the first step you can take to make it happen? Do it!
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