Martin Luther King Jr.'s "Letter from Birmingham Jail" may be less famous than his "I Have a Dream" speech, but perhaps shouldn't be. Written in the margins of a newspaper while imprisoned, King articulately explains the rationale behind nonviolent protests. It manages to be a perfect description for much of what the Civil Rights Movement stood for, while still being relevant today. This activity focuses on six excerpts. Students are asked to use context to determine vocabulary words, summarize a primary source, and interpret various quotes.
Also, if you like this assignment, you might be interested in Applying Common Core: Civil Rights Era
. It includes 9 reading and writing activities that cover the social studies Common Core standards.
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