Lesson Plan

Significance of "Let Freedom Ring" in MLK, Jr.'s Speech

In this lesson, Significance of "Let Freedom Ring" in MLK, Jr.'s Speech, students will be able to understand the allusion Martin Luther King, Jr. makes to the song "My Country 'Tis of Thee." Have students discuss allusions in this speech.
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Learning Objectives

Students will be able to evaluate and discuss allusion in Martin Luther King, Jr.'s famous "I Have a Dream" speech.

Introduction

(5 minutes)
“I Have a Dream" Speech and "My Country ‘Tis of Thee" SongExamine the Song “My Country ‘Tis of Thee”
  • Pass out an index card and ask students to write all they know about the song "My Country 'Tis of Thee."
  • Have students share their ideas with their elbow partners while you listen along. Write some of their responses that focus on freedom, singing, and mountaintops.
  • Review the ideas in the song "My Country 'Tis of Thee" if students are unfamiliar with the song. If necessary, play the YouTube video as a reminder.
  • Tell students today they'll evaluate and discuss how Martin Luther King, Jr., in his famous "I Have a Dream" speech, used a historic American song to talk about African American freedom in the 1960s United States.