Analyzing Diction, Anaphora And Rhetorical Strategies In Martin Luther King Jr.’s I Have A Dream Speech (1 of 2)

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SWBAT synthesize multiple sources on a subject by writing an essay responding to video and text from Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr and Malcolm X.

Big Idea

Can a text be so complex that it has multiple purposes directed toward diverse audiences?

Warm Up--Let's analyze the role of figure of speech in text

10 minutes

Day two of our MLK work begins with students applying previous knowledge of domain specific vocabulary and applying it to the interpretation of King's speech (L.9-10.6). This video explaining vocabulary in the Common Core classroom describes how I work with domain specific vocabulary in my classroom.  I try to teach vocabulary in text rather than a separate vocabulary unit.  This allows me to reteach vocabulary words throughout the school year and apply them to various types of text. Students have previously studied anaphora and will now find examples of it in King's speech.  On the Smart Board will be the following and students will be given five minutes to find the answers and write it on their warm up page.  


Good morning students!

In the Fall, we studied numerous figures of speech, including anaphora.  Please spend five minutes to find two examples of anaphora from Martin Luther King's "I Have a Dream" speech.  After you find two examples, write a paragraph which analyzes and explains the role of anaphora in the text.  Why did King use this figure of speech?  What does it do for the writing?  (L.9-10.5a)


After students write for five minutes, they read their explanation to their neighbor.  In groups of four, students write two sentences that explain that relationship between anaphora and the meaning of the text as a whole.  

Student Work Time--Time to write!

30 minutes

In yesterday's lesson, students spent much time reading and analyzing King's speech.  Today, students are writing a two part essay in response to yesterday's reading (W.9-10.10).  First, students explain answers to the questions, "What are two parts of King's dream that we have made a reality?" and, "What are two parts of King's dream that have not yet become reality?" These questions ask students to write informatively examining connections between the text and their world/society/life and convey the complex ideas in 1956 compared to 2014 (W.9-10.2).  These will be two separate paragraphs.  

Secondly, students write a third paragraph which explains whether MLK was a rule maker or a rule breaker and why.  I view this unit as a mini research project.  While we are working on a variety of skills throughout the unit, in the background of the unit is the overarching research question of "What makes someone a rule maker and/or rule breaker?" and, "Does society need both makers and breakers?".  While we read various texts, students think about the answers to these question.  While students are writing their paragraph today they will be demonstrating understanding of these questions (W.9-10.7).  As we continue working within this unit, students will gather research from our texts to help answer this question.  It isn't typical research, but instead, a synthesis of multiple ideas.  

Closure---Share time!

5 minutes

I firmly believe that students need to read their reading aloud and need to hear their peers reading as well.  During the last five-ten minutes of class, students are grouped into fours.  Each student reads the paragraph that they are most proud of.  This allows students to practice speaking in front of their peers and be validated for their thinking and writing.