A Dream for a Better Life

6, 7, 8

Learners analyze and define the word perseverance and reflect on the perseverance of Martin Luther King, Jr. 

PrintOne 20-minute lesson

The learner will:

  • analyze the meaning of the word perseverance.

One read-aloud copy of the book I Have a Dream by Margaret Davidson or read about Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. on the Internet

  • Davidson, Margaret. I Have a Dream: The Story of Martin Luther King. Scholastic, 1991. ISBN-13: 9780590442305
  • Louisiana State University. "Timeline of Events in Martin Luther King, Jr.'s Life." https://guides.lib.lsu.edu/mlk



  1. Anticipatory Set

    Discuss and define perseverance [to persist, even in the face of discouragement]and think of some examples of times they persevered or saw someone else persevere.

  2. Read I Have a Dream: The Story of Martin Luther King by Margaret Davidson and discuss: 

    • How would you describe Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.?
    • How long did he stay with his dream?
    • What were his successes? What were his failures?
    • What can we learn from him about the value of perseverance?
  3. Write the word perseverance on the center of a chart with four lines pointing out. Write the following four topics at the four points: What it looks like; What it is not; Benefits of applying; Consequences of not applying. With the learners, analyze perseverance by writing in the four sections of the concept web.

  4. Each learner may choose to write a description or poem or draw a picture illustrating the concept of perseverance.

Philanthropy Framework

  1. Strand PHIL.II Philanthropy and Civil Society
    1. Standard PCS 01. Self, citizenship, and society
      1. Benchmark MS.4 Describe the characteristics of someone who helps others.
    2. Standard PCS 02. Diverse Cultures
      1. Benchmark MS.2 Describe the importance of hearing all voices in a community and respecting their right to be heard.
      2. Benchmark MS.3 Give an example of how philanthropy can transcend cultures.
  2. Strand PHIL.III Philanthropy and the Individual
    1. Standard PI 01. Reasons for Individual Philanthropy
      1. Benchmark MS.3 Identify and give examples of stewardship in cultural traditions around the world.
      2. Benchmark MS.4 Identify and describe the actions of how citizens act for the common good.
      3. Benchmark MS.5 Describe the responsibility students have to act in the civil society sector to improve the common good.