Letter From Birmingham City Jail (Excerpts), Martin Luther King, Jr.

MLK was leading a demonstration in Birmingham, Alabama where it was forbidden to make demonstrations. This was the first time King had decided to break the law for he believed that the law was unjust. While incarcerated he wrote a letter in reply to a letter published about accusations made on him in the Birmingham Post Herald.

  • Resource Type: Primary Sources
  • Subject: Rights and Responsibilities
  • Grades: 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, 11, 12

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

On the steps of the Lincoln Memorial, Martin Luther King Jr. gave his address on his vision for the future of America regarding race equality. The speech was to emphasize the importance of this movement. 100 years before, Lincoln gave his Emancipation speech and 200 years earlier the Declaration of Independence was signed. Now it is time to end oppression in America for good.

  • Resource Type: Primary Sources
  • Subject: Rights and Responsibilities
  • Grades: 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, 11, 12

A Lesson on Martin Luther King Jr.’s ‘I Have a Dream’ Speech

This lesson can be used during a unit on the Civil Rights Movement or in remembrance of the March on Washington or Martin Luther King Jr.’s Birthday holiday. Students will be able to: Analyze in detail how a complex primary source is structured, including how key sentences, paragraphs, and larger portions of the text contribute to the whole.

  • Resource Type: Lesson Plans, Primary Sources
  • Subject: Citizenship
  • Grades: 9, 10, 11, 12

Martin Luther King, Jr. and Nonviolent Resistance

By examining King’s famous “Letter from a Birmingham Jail” in defense of nonviolent protest, along with two significant criticisms of his direct action campaign, this lesson will help students assess various alternatives for securing civil rights for black Americans in a self-governing society. (Duration: 3 class periods)

  • Resource Type: Essays, Lesson Plans
  • Subject: Rights and Responsibilities
  • Grades: 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, 11, 12

Dr. King’s Dream

In this lesson, students will learn about the life and work of civil rights leader Martin Luther King, Jr. Students will listen to a brief biography, view photographs of the March on Washington, hear a portion of King’s “I Have a Dream” speech, and discuss what King’s words mean to them. Finally, they will create picture books about their own dreams of freedom for Americans today. (Duration: 3 class periods)

  • Resource Type: Essays, Lesson Plans
  • Subject: Rights and Responsibilities
  • Grades: K, 1, 2