Tuesday, January 22, 2008

Week 17 I Have a Dream...

Monday was Martin Luther King, Jr. Day. So, who was this man we honor each year with a special day?

Years ago, when your parents were small, our country was experiencing some important events. Slavery had been outlawed many years before, but life was still very difficult for many African Americans. Their rights were not being protected and many of the laws at the time even made things worse. In the 1950s and 60s, after centuries of unfair treatment, many people began protesting, saying it was time for change. The Civil Rights Movement, as it is called, was led by a minister from Alabama, named Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.

Dr. King believed in the power of peaceful protest. Inspired by his message, people gathered for marches in various places around the country. They walked long distances, singing and carrying signs declaring the need for fair treatment and opportunities for all people regardless of the color of their skin. Many people opposed them. Sometimes the government did too. And sometimes the opposition was violent. Dr. King was shot and killed in 1968. But the movement continued, and change did come.

In 1963, Dr. King delivered a speech during the March on Washington. It is now famously known as his "I have a dream" speech. Watch the video clip below. Pay careful attention to what Dr. King tells us his dream is...

Think about your world today. What problems concern you? I don't mean whether your parents make you go to bed earlier than you'd like, or whether your family can afford to go to Disney World every year. I mean, what concerns you about our country (or even the world)? The environment? Homelessness? Crime? Hunger? Terrorism?

More importantly, what dream do you have for how it can be better?

Write a paragraph about one concern and your hope for the future. Start with a topic sentence explaining the problem. Then write 3 or more sentences explaining how you dream of it being better. (Don't worry, you don't have to have the solution figured out. Just explain how you'd like it to be different than it is now.) Finish with a concluding sentence that sums up your dream for the future. Feel free to listen to Dr. King again for inspiration.

As always...

  • do your writing in MSWord or another word processing program first

  • revise it to include strong verbs and descriptive details

  • proofread your work and make corrections in spelling, capitalization and punctuation

  • copy and paste your writing into the comments section of the blog or into your own blog

  • add your first name and code before publishing
Challenge: Follow the link below to a website where you can read or listen to the entire "I Have A Dream" speech. http://www.americanrhetoric.com/speeches/mlkihaveadream.htm