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I Have a Dream: A Civil Conversation

Understanding the Preamble to the U.S. Constitution is important because it sets out the purposes or functions of government as envisioned by the framers. This lesson opens with a group activity in which students look at the words in the Preamble and translate them into everyday language.  Then students take part in a civil conversation on Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.’s “I Have a Dream” speech. Through discussion of the speech, students will delve more deeply into the meaning of the Preamble, focusing particularly on who “We the People” are and what should be done by government and by citizens in order to make a “more perfect union” a reality. 

Audience: Middle School (6-8)

Topic: Citizenship, Rights and Responsibilities, Civil Rights, Due Process, Equal Protection

Teaching Strategy: Cooperative Learning/Small Group Work, Discussion/Deliberation

US Constitution: Preamble, 14th Amendment

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