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Middle and High School Materials

Web Resources

Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., Papers Project
http://www.stanford.edu/group/king/
This Stanford University site has a biography, a timeline, references, articles, and primary and secondary documents about Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.'s life and the Civil Rights Movement. One section of the site requires registration but there is no cost.

Martin Luther King Jr.
http://seattletimes.nwsource.com/mlk/
Few people have had as much impact on people's understanding of human rights as Martin Luther King. Learn about the man, the movement, the legacy and the holiday at this Seattle Times site. There are discussion questions also. There is an opportunity at this site for online discussion about King's life and legacy.

Martin Luther King's Letter from Birmingham Jail--a Rhetorical Analysis
http://faculty.millikin.edu/~moconner/writing/king1a.html
This colorful rendition of the Letter from a Birmingham Jail analyzes King's words line-by-line by the type of argument he is making: Purple: the opposition's arguments; Red: use of an emotional appeal or pathos; Green: use of appeal to authority or reputation or ethos; and Blue: use of an appeal to logic or logos. This is a valuable resource for a humanities classroom and is a technique that could be applied by students to other famous speeches.

The Whole World Was Watching: An Oral History of 1968
http://www.stg.brown.edu/projects/1968/
In this oral history project directed by Brown University, students from South Kingston High School interviewed a diverse body of Rhode Islanders about what they remember of the year 1968. Topics include the Vietnam War, the Civil Rights Movement, the assassinations of Martin Luther King, Jr. and Robert Kennedy, and women's issues. The timeline has hot links to web resources about people and events of the era.

Timeline of the American Civil Rights Movement
http://www.infoplease.com/spot/civilrightstimeline1.html
Here is an annotated timeline of events in the Civil Rights Movement from Brown v Board of Education in 1954 to the Selma, Alabama, demonstration in 1965.

The Civil Rights Movement
http://library.thinkquest.org/C0126872/main.php
Developed by high school students, this ThinkQuest project has well researched sections on the Civil Rights Movement titled Relive the Movement, Interact, and Virtual Museum. Students will not only learn from the site, it may serve as a model for what they could do.

Martin Luther King, Jr., Federal Teaching and Learning Resources
http://free.ed.gov/resource.cfm?resource_id=1070&subject_id=250&toplvl=172
Here are three resources for learning about Martin Luther King: History and Politics Out Loud is a collection of audio materials capturing significant political and historical events and personalities of the 20th century; Martin Luther King, Jr., National Historic Site features Atlanta's Auburn Avenue, the neighborhood where the civil rights leader was born and raised; and We Shall Overcome, Historic Places of the Civil Rights Movement shows 41 churches, houses, and other properties related largely to the post-World War II civil rights movement.


Lessons

Birmingham 1963
http://www.archives.state.al.us/teacher/rights/rights3.html
On April 12, 1963, Martin Luther King, Jr. was sentenced to a nine-day jail term for his part in desegregation demonstrations. It was during this time that King wrote his essay, "Letter from the Birmingham Jail," which described his concerns for the laws of America and his hope for justice for black Americans. The national media publicized the powerful water hoses and the German shepherd police dogs that were used by the firemen and the policemen of Birmingham against the demonstrators. The documents in this lesson include telegrams sent to or by Gov. Wallace concerning the events in Birmingham. The notorized statements from the Intercitizens Committee, Inc. provide a contrast to the official state government version of events in Birmingham.

In What Ways Did the Civil Rights Movement Change America?
http://www.eduref.org/Virtual/Lessons/crossroads/sec4/Unit_11/Unit_XIQ3.html
In this activity you will describe important events in the Civil Rights movement, appreciate what it was like to participate in those events, and explain how those events changed the lives of African Americans. Part of this is to explain the important role Martin Luther King, Jr., played in the Civil Rights movement. Recognize alternate views in the Civil Rights movement and compare them to the views of Dr. King. From today's perspective, evaluate the successes and failures of the civil rights movement.

Martin Luther King, Jr., and the Power of Nonviolence
http://edsitement.neh.gov/view_lesson_plan.asp?id=326
This lesson introduces students to Martin Luther King, Jr.'s philosophy of nonviolence and the teachings of Mohandas K. Gandhi that influenced King's views. After considering the political impact of this philosophy, students explore its relevance to personal life.

Teaching With Documents: Court Documents Related to Martin Luther King, Jr., and Memphis Sanitation Workers

http://www.archives.gov/education/lessons/memphis-v-mlk/
In the later 1960s, the targets of King's activism were less often the legal and political obstacles to the exercise of civil rights by blacks, and more often the underlying poverty, unemployment, lack of education, and blocked avenues of economic opportunity confronting black Americans. Despite increasing militancy in the movement for black power, King steadfastly adhered to the principles of nonviolence that had been the foundation of his career. Those principles were put to a severe test in his support of a strike by sanitation workers in Memphis, Tennessee. This was King's final campaign before his death.

Exploring the Power of Martin Luther King, Jr.’s Words through Diamante Poetry
http://www.readwritethink.org/lessons/lesson_view.asp?id=258
Encourage students to explore the ways that powerful and passionate words communicate the concepts of freedom, justice, discrimination, and the American Dream in Martin Luther King, Jr.’s "I Have a Dream" speech by paying attention to the details of King's speech as they read and as they gather words to use in their own original poems. Students read (and listen or view, if resources and time allow) and pay close attention to King’s use of literary devices, such as symbol and repetition, and analyze King's definitions of freedom, justice, discrimination, and dreams as demonstrated by the examples and details in his "I Have a Dream" speech. After a thorough exploration of the power of the speech, students choose powerful words and themes from the text and arrange them into original diamante poems, seven-line, diamond-shaped poems based on contrasting words.


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