If you are looking for an authentic learning experience for students to have while learning about Martin Luther King Jr., this is your assignment!
I show the "I Have a Dream" speech to my students and we talk about his words. We also discuss his life and different roles briefly before I hand out the following assignment.
I found several thought-provoking quotations from Martin Luther King Jr. that were challenging, but accessible to 7th grade students. Students discuss quotations in partners, taking notes on their inferences of the meanings and how they apply to life today. We follow this with a class discussion and more notes.
Students then use one of these quotes to create a paragraph explaining the meaning, significance, and relevance to their own life or humanity.
I have included sample paragraphs of differing lengths using quotes that are not included in the student inference portion. This provides a model without the actual quote they must use.
I have taught various versions of this assignment for several years. Students are always very proud of how much they are able to infer from the quotes and at the power of the words in their paragraphs.
Please let me know what you think of this product! It is one I look forward to using with my 7th graders all year long!