PrintOne 20-minute lesson

The learner will:

  • respond through discussion to the book I Have a Dream: The Story of Martin Luther King. See Bibliographical References.
  • analyze the meaning of the word perseverance.

One read aloud copy of the book I Have a Dream by Margaret Davidson (See Bibliographical References)Note: If the book is not available, see Bibliographical References for websites about Martin Luther King, Jr.'s life or read aloud the timeline of events from Handout One: Civil Rights Movement Highlights. Show images of Martin Luther King, Jr. from the Internet, if possible.

  • 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
  • Sylvester, Melvin. Long Island University. "A Tribute to Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr." June 1998. https://www.liu.edu/cwis/cwp/library/mlking.htm [no longer available]



  1. Anticipatory Set

    Write the word perseverance on the board. Ask the students to 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 (see Bibliographical References). Note: If you do not have access to the book, refer to Handout One: Civil Rights Movement Highlights to summarize some of his major actions in the Civil Rights Movement (links to timelines also available in the Bibliographical References). After reading, ask the students to describe Martin Luther King, Jr. What kind of person was he? What did he say and do that made people follow him? 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. From the word perseverance on the board, draw four lines outin a web design. Write the following four topics at the four points: What it looks like; What it is not; Benefits of applying; Consequence of not applying. With the learners, analyze perseverance by writing in the four sections of the concept web. Encourage them to think of Martin Luther King, Jr.'s perseverance, but also the description and effects of perseverance in other situations.

  4. As a group, create a concise definition of the word perseverance. Have students write the definition in their character education journals.

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.