The March on Washington happened 51 years ago. Those who were there remember feeling like this march would bring about change. Do you think it led to enough change? Why or why not?
The March on Washington was massive and nonviolent. People of all ages and races traveled across the country to attend. Why was this approach effective? Why was the diversity of participants important? Would this approach be as effective today? Why or why not?
After the March on Washington, marchers met with President John F. Kennedy and asked him to improve the civil rights legislation he was submitting to Congress. Within the next two years, President Lyndon B. Johnson signed both the Civil Rights Act and the Voting Rights Act. How do you think the march influenced the timing and content of each piece of legislation? Do you think these laws would have passed if the march hadn’t been such a success?
- Download the text and audio of a famous speech.
- Make a copy of the text for each student or project the text for the class.
- Instruct students to read along as they listen to listen to the audio. Tell them to pay close attention to what the speaker says and how the speaker says it.
- Discuss the speech. Challenge students to identify the main message. Explore how the speaker used examples, metaphors, repetition, pacing and volume to keep listeners engaged.
- Direct students to select an issue that is important to them. Tell them to write a short speech expressing their views in a way that will captivate and engage others.
Invite students to present their speeches to the class. Remind them to incorporate effective techniques in their delivery.
CUSTOMIZE THE LESSON:
Before students present, give them time to practice reading their speeches aloud. Encourage students to make audio recordings so they can effectively monitor their delivery. Tell students to pay close attention to how clearly they speak, the rate of their speech, and the fluidity of their delivery.
Remind students to sequence their ideas logically and to include descriptive details that support their main ideas. Remind them to speak clearly and at an understandable pace when they deliver their speeches.
Encourage students to maintain a clear focus as they write their speeches. Remind them to use appropriate eye contact, adequate volume, and clear pronunciation when they deliver their speeches.
Instruct student to include supporting evidence that clearly, concisely, and logically supports their views. Remind them to speak clearly when delivering their speeches.
Read about the deep connection between the memorial and those who worked tirelessly to see that it was built.
Learn what it took to make this historic legislation law.
Learn more about the speakers, venue, and key issues that led to the event.