Amanda Gorman The Hill We Climb Poem Analysis — MLK I've Been to the Mountaintop

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5 Ratings
Chomping at the Lit
Grade Levels
6th - 12th, Higher Education, Adult Education, Homeschool
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11 pages
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Chomping at the Lit

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An excellent resource to use with my honors 9th graders. Questions went beyond the surface and asked students to dig deep.
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In this lesson, students will analyze Amanda Gorman's poem "The Hill We Climb" as well as Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.'s powerful speech "I've Been to the Mountaintop."

On January 20, 2021, Amanda Gorman touched the American people when she delivered her poem “The Hill We Climb” at the presidential inauguration. Let your students be a part of her powerful message. Amanda Gorman is the youngest inaugural poet in US history. Students will also read an excerpt from Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.’s “I’ve Been to the Mountaintop” speech. This speech was delivered April 3, 1968 in Memphis, Tennessee, the evening before Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. was fatally shot at the Lorraine Motel on April 4, 1968.

This is a great activity to reflect on current events as well as the Civil Rights Movement. Both speeches are connected and make a great paired texts lesson. Have students complete a close reading of both speeches, then compare and contrast themes, tones, and historical contexts. Analysis questions and answer keys are included. Poetic devices highlighted in this lesson include: tone, theme, alliteration, anaphora, idiom, and metaphor.

Total Pages
11 pages
Answer Key
Teaching Duration
50 minutes
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to see state-specific standards (only available in the US).
Cite the textual evidence that most strongly supports an analysis of what the text says explicitly as well as inferences drawn from the text.
Determine a central idea of a text and analyze its development over the course of the text, including its relationship to supporting ideas; provide an objective summary of the text.
Analyze how a text makes connections among and distinctions between individuals, ideas, or events (e.g., through comparisons, analogies, or categories).
Determine the meaning of words and phrases as they are used in a text, including figurative, connotative, and technical meanings; analyze the impact of specific word choices on meaning and tone, including analogies or allusions to other texts.
Analyze in detail the structure of a specific paragraph in a text, including the role of particular sentences in developing and refining a key concept.


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