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Make your study of Martin Luther King, Jr., a literacy lesson with a primary source. Students complete a close reading of his prophetic speech, “I’ve Been to the Mountain Top,” and use their reading as inspiration for their own writing. With Inspired Writing, students use mentor texts as models for their own writing.
In pre-reading activities they learn about the context of the speech and define vocabulary. Next, they complete an activity to understand allusions, and then after reading the speech, they analyze its structure using a graphic organizer. They use the same graphic organizer from the analysis to plan their own speeches. Finally, they use their pre-writing to write their speeches and take them through the writing process using 6 + 1 traits.
This 18 page product includes the following:
-explicit lesson plan with identified Common Core ELA Anchor Standards,
-understanding allusions handouts,
-pre-reading and contextual reading guide,
-analyzing political speeches graphic organizer,
-peer review handout, and
-key (includes detailed responses for all activities)
The speech for this lesson can easily be found in most English textbooks or anthologies, but if you do not have a copy of it, links are provided to online access of the speech in order to respect copyright.
In the spirit of King’s nonviolence philosophy, an example pre-writing graphic organizer plans for a speech envisioning a world free from gun violence and promoting universal background checks. This example can be used as a model for the students.
If interested, here are writing lessons using mentor texts:
And here are some lessons featuring close reading: