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I Have a Dream: Crafting a Persuasive Speech

I Have a Dream: Crafting a Persuasive Speech

Author: Beth Barsness
  1. Students will use Martin Luther King Jr.’s “I Have a Dream” speech as a model to write their own persuasive speech.
  2. Students will refine their speaking skills by participating in impromptu speeches and delivering their own speech to the class.
  3. Students will use draft their persuasive speech using research to support their opinions and proper MLA formatting to cite their sources.

The general goal of this lesson is for students to use Martin Luther King’s famous speech as an example to craft their own persuasive speech about an issue of their choice.  Students will utilize their knowledge of oratorical strategies to deliver their speech to the class.

Length of time needed: 6-8 class periods (90 minutes each)

This lesson was written by Jessica Kemp.

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Lesson Plan

This lesson plan can be downloaded to your computer as a PDF document. If you would like to edit this document for your classroom needs, go to the "Handouts and Materials" section and click on the corresponding link.


Source: Jessica Kemp

I Have a Dream

Martin Luther King, Jr.
August 28, 1963
Washington, DC
(17 minutes)

Source: PeteRock on

Handouts and Materials

The following files can be downloaded to your computer:

Lesson Plan (Word document)

I Have a Dream Handout (Word document)


Script of MLK's "I Have a Dream" speech

Video Clip

Order a copy of the video

Source: Jessica Kemp