I begin the lesson by explaining to students that one way of gaining a better understanding of who people are is by listening to or reading what they say. So, today we will gain a better understanding of the famous orator and civil rights leader, Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., by examining and discussing quotes he said.
To close the lesson, I tell my students I want them to begin thinking about and writing a poem about Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. It may be an acrostic poem like I wrote when I was in school or simply a regular poem. They will begin writing the poem in class and complete it for homework. I, then, explain to my students that words cause you to think, words teach, words convey messages, words persuade, words change perspectives, and words change decisions and direction. The living, powerful words of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. caused the leaders of our nation to take an introspective look at the legacy of our future. Would we embrace a future of racism, segregation, and violence or would we embrace a future of compassion, freedom, and equality for all people. I, for one, am glad we chose the latter. Dr. King chose to use the power of his words constructively rather than destructively.