Goals and Perseverance

6, 7, 8

Students review the Civil Rights work of Martin Luther King, Jr. as discussed in Lesson One. They create an acrostic about his life and work. Then students identify his goals and relate goals to perseverance.

PrintOne 20-minute lesson

The learner will:

  • write an acrostic poem about Martin Luther King, Jr.
  • identify the goals of Martin Luther King, Jr.
  • describe the relationship between goals and perseverance.
  • paper and pencils for creating acrostic poems
  • chart paper and markers


  1. Anticipatory Set

    Tell the students that they are going to talk about goals today. Ask the students to define what a goal is [the end point to which efforts are directed]. Discuss their definitions and write a final definition on the board.

  2. Remind the students of the work of Martin Luther King, Jr. discussed in the previous lesson. Have them reflect on what they think are one or two goals of Martin Luther King, Jr. Allow them a minute of thinking time and then tell them to talk with a partner and come to a consensus together about one or two goals of Martin Luther King, Jr. Then, ask each pair to share with the whole class. Write down the different goals on a chart. If a team describes a goal that is already on the chart, make a checkmark after the goal rather than rewriting. After everyone has reported, read over the goals and star the one or two that seem to capture his main goal(s).

  3. Ask the students how perseverance helped him achieve his goals.

  4. Discuss how goals and perseverance are related. Work together to craft a sentence that explains their relationship.

  5. Put the learners in groups or have them work on their own to write an acrostic poem about the perseverance and legacy [something passed on from the past] of Martin Luther King, Jr. They may use the letters in his name or in the word perseverance. For each letter, they write a word or phrase that describes the character and work of Martin Luther King, Jr.

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.4 Identify and describe the actions of how citizens act for the common good.