Beacon Lesson Plan Library

I Dare to Dream

Cassandra Andrews
Escambia County Schools


Dr. King had a dream. Everyone has a dream. What is yours? Students write a one-paragraph speech depicting their own dreams. They orally read their speeches in front of the class and create posters to show the visual effects of their dreams.


Prepare oral, written, or visual information for expression or presentation.


-Classroom whiteboard
-Copy of Dr. King’s Speech for teacher
-Overhead Projector
-Transparency (graphic organizer for paragraph)
-Transparency (transitions)
-Transparency (paragraph writing rubric)
-Transparency (oral presentation checklist)
-Teacher created posters
-Copies of graphic organizer for students
-Copies of oral presentation checklist for students
-Notebook paper


1. Select Dr. King’s “I Have a Dream” speech to read to students. (See Weblinks)
2. Determine a time outline for the week.
3. Duplicate the paragraph rubric using Word.
4. Duplicate the oral presentation checklist using Word.
5. Duplicate the paragraph graphic organizer using Word.
6. Make transparencies for the lesson.
7. Create a sample paragraph to use with the students.
8. Make posters as examples.
9. Secure overhead projector.
1. Locate overhead markers, permanent markers, posters, scissors and glue.
11. Organize materials for each day of the lesson.


Note: This lesson is designed for 6th grade ESE students at the independent and supportive level. Modifications will be given to teach at the participatory level.

Day One

1. Begin by asking students what they know about Dr. Martin Luther King.

2. Ask students to share their thoughts and ideas about Dr. King’s life.

3. Orally present Dr. King’s “I Have a Dream” speech using dramatization, body language and voice inflection.

4. Ask students what they think of Dr. King’s speech.

5. Tell students to think about their own dreams but to keep them a secret for now. Tell them to pull out a sheet of paper and jot down notes, thoughts and ideas.

6. Tell students that they will be writing their own dreams.

7. Give students an outline of expectations for the next four days of the lesson.

8. Discuss/Review outline with students:
Day Two - Discuss Paragraph Writing Rubric and write speech
Day Three - Make Posters
Day Four - Discuss Oral Presentation Checklist
Day Five - Oral Presentations

9. Tell students that assessments will be given in the form of the paragraph/poster rubric. Tell students that the teacher will complete this rubric. Oral presentations will be assessed by both the teacher and other students using a checklist.

Day Two

1. Ask student to place their papers from yesterday on their desks.

2. Begin by telling students that they will be writing their speeches today.

3. Orally present a one-paragraph speech you have created to students.

4. Ask students if they know what a paragraph should contain.

5. Use the overhead to record the student responses. Responses should be opening sentence, three supporting details, and closing sentence with a transition. Talk about the importance of having each element included in the paragraph. Refer back to your paragraph and point these out.

6. Place paragraph graphic organizer transparency on the overhead and review. (See associated file)

7. Write the following on the whiteboard in the classroom: opening sentence, supporting detail one, supporting detail two, supporting detail three, closing sentence and transition.

8. Give students a copy of the paragraph graphic organizer and ask them to place it on their desks for assistance in writing their paragraphs.

9. Place transition transparency on the overhead. Ask students to look at the words and raise their hands and wait to be called on to orally identify words that are transition. (See associated file)

10. Discuss where the transition could be placed in the paragraph. Reread your paragraph and point this out.

11. Show students transparency of paragraph rubric and discuss.

12. Ask students to take out a sheet of notebook paper and write their one-paragraph speeches about their own dreams. Remind students to use an opening sentence, three supporting details and a closing sentence with a transition.

13. Walk around the classroom and observe students work while giving immediate feedback.

Day 3

1. Ask students to place their graphic organizers and speeches on their desks.

2. Ask them if they enjoyed writing their speeches and if anyone needs anymore help with that task.

3. Tell students that they will be making posters that will show a visual meaning of their speeches.

4. Show students examples of other posters created by you.

5. Tell students that they can use markers to draw pictures, scissors to cut pictures out of magazines and markers to write captions on their posters.

6. Show students paragraph rubric transparency and discuss the poster portion.

7. Allow students to work on and complete their posters.

Day 4

1. Ask students to place their speeches and posters on their desks.

2. Tell students that today we will practice filling out oral presentation checklists and discuss the vocabulary on the checklist. (See associated file)

3. Place the oral presentation transparency on the overhead.

4. Discuss ratings with the student and the accompanying vocabulary (excellent, satisfactory and needs improvement)

5. Discuss checklist vocabulary with students (body language, eye contact, pacing, poise, voice, volume)and give examples and non-examples of each.

6. Orally present a few one-paragraph speeches and call upon students to come to the overhead and practice giving ratings.

7. Tell students that we are going to practice giving oral presentations.

8. Allow students to sit at their desks and practice giving their presentations to the person sitting next to them.

Day 5

1. Ask students to place their outlines and speeches on the table.

2. Ask students to place their posters at a location near them.

3. Use the overhead to review the paragraph rubrics with students

4. Use the overhead to review the oral presentation checklist with students.

5. Assign a student to pass out the oral presentation checklist to students each time there is a presenter. (See associated files)

6. Tell students that when they are called upon they should come to the front of the class and bring their speeches and posters with them.

7. Tell students to display the poster on the stand before beginning the speech.

8. Tell students to remove their posters at the end of the speech and to return to seats.

9. Call upon students one at a time to present.

10. Fill out a rubric and checklist for each student while the students fill out a checklist for each student.

11. Commend students on their performances.


Use the rubric on this formative assessment to determine if students write a one-paragraph speech about their individual dreams, using an opening (main idea) and closing statement, three supporting details and a transition. The teacher and peers uses a likert scale checklist to determine if students use appropriate speech (volume, voice inflection), pacing, poise, eye contact and body language when presenting their speeches. Use the rubric to observe posters (visuals) depicting subject of student speeches. (See associated file)


Students at the participatory level will be allowed to dictate their sentences or receive assistance in writing their sentences as well as writing captions on their posters. These students may require assistance in developing sentences as well.

Web Links

Dr. King’s “I Have a Dream” Speech delivered by the famed civil rights leader on the steps at the Lincoln Memorial in Washington D.C. on August 28, 1963
Dr. King’s “I Have a Dream” Speech

Attached Files

Paragraph Writing Rubric     File Extension: pdf

Oral Presentation Checklist     File Extension: pdf

Paragraph Graphic Organizer     File Extension: pdf

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