Martin Luther King, Jr. was a dynamic social activist and key leader in the Civil Rights movement from the 1950’s until his assassination in 1968. His famous speech delivered during the March on Washington in 1963 is the inspiration for this activity that is rich in creativity and imagination. Your child will create a colorful collage using her own illustrations and magazine pictures to bring the last part of the speech to life visually. This project provides a valuable opportunity to reflect on the significance of Dr. King’s inspirational words to end discrimination in this country while helping your child build important artistic and spatial analysis skills.
What You Do:
- Go to the library or search online for Martin Luther King’s “I Have A Dream” speech and have your child read it from start to finish. Encourage her to re-read it a second time in order to understand the meaning of it, helping her with any difficult parts if necessary.
- Focus on the last portion of the speech, which says: “And so let freedom ring from the prodigious hilltops of New Hampshire. Let freedom ring from the mighty mountains of New York. Let freedom ring from the heightening Alleghenies of Pennsylvania. Let freedom ring from the snow-capped Rockies of Colorado. Let freedom ring from the curvaceous slopes of California. But not only that: Let freedom ring from Stone Mountain of Georgia. Let freedom ring from Lookout Mountain of Tennessee. Let freedom ring from every hill and molehill of Mississippi.”
- Have your child take a blank piece of paper and on the front, write the first line, “And so let freedom ring from the prodigious hilltops of New Hampshire."
- Then, invite your child to flip the piece of paper over and make a collage depicting what that line means to her. Encourage her to use a combination of old magazine pictures and hand-drawn images.
- Once she has completed the first page, have her begin work on the second page.
- On the front, she will write the next sentence, “Let freedom ring from the mighty mountains of New York,” and on the back, she will make a collage that represents it. Again, she can embellish the picture with cut outs from old magazines and her own drawings.
- Have her continue working with each line of the speech in this manner until the eighth page illustrates, “…every hill and molehill of Mississippi.”
- The ninth and final sheet of paper will be the cover page. Ask your child to write the title of her "I Have a Dream" book - she can title it however she wants - and to decorate the page with drawings and cut outs that symbolize freedom to her. If possible, locate a picture of Dr. King and add that to the cover page.
- Have your child use the presentation folder to “bind” her new book. This way, all of the pages remain beautifully intact, free of holes or staples.
This activity is a meaningful project that you and your child can do together, to help celebrate the life and work of Dr. King and the spirit of equality. Your child will not only learn a lot making this collage book, but she'll also enjoy herself as well.