On respectable 28, 1963, young name Luther King, Jr. Led a in march on Washington, D.C. The speech he gave that day is one of the best known in American history. When world remember the “I have actually a Dream” speech, together it has involved be known, they recall King’s message around civil rights. Yet perhaps the factor it is therefore memorable is since King was a grasp of literary and also rhetorical devices. His word an option matched the stamin of his message.

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This class plan permits students to testimonial literary terms, rhetorical devices and figurative language through a scavenger hunt v “I have a Dream” speech. then you have the right to have students discuss or write around the speech utilizing the literary terminology. This lesson can be amendment to job-related well for anyone from students simply learning about an allegory for the first time to AP student reviewing for their upcoming exams.

The lesson Plan

1. Review the complying with literary terms. (You can select as plenty of or as few as you’d like for your course to emphasis on for this lesson). If you click the hyperlinked terms, you’ll discover definitions and also individualized great plans the we’ve produced for the term.


2. Give some historic background top top the “I have a Dream” decided by the town hall historicsweetsballroom.com’s civil right’s song, “Let freedom Ring.”The tune will be cost-free for young name Luther King day, till January 20. Learn much more about martin Luther King, Jr. V our historicsweetsballroom.com post about his life.

3. Give each student a printed copy of the “I have a Dream” speech, i beg your pardon you can print native here. Explain to students that they’ll be looking for the literary state you’ve reviewed.

4. Display the video of the speech, and also while students are watching, ask them come underline and label instances of literature terms that they find. (You can even just focus on metaphors.)

5. Give students time in tiny groups to evaluation the instances that they found and search for more. Friend could likewise make this a competition to watch which team can uncover the most examples of literary terms.

6. Review the findings as a class. one of two people hold a discussion around how King’s use of these literary terms aided him to spread his message, or ask students to create an essay addressing the question.

Examples of Literary terms in the “I have a Dream Speech”

AlliterationThe repeat of sounds makes the speech more catchy and memorable.

In a feeling we have come come our nation’s capital to cash a check.

We cannot be satisfied as long as a Negro in Mississippi cannot vote and also a Negro in New York trust he has nothing because that which to vote. No, no…

I have a dream that my four small children will someday live in a country where they will not be judged by the color of your skin yet by the content of your character.

AllusionBy utilizing a standard American President’s speech and also a famed African-American spiritual as bookends come the speech, the is demonstrating the indistinguishable worth that both cultures.

The speech starts with “Five score years ago…”, a recommendation to the Gettysburg resolve and ends with the “words that the old negro spiritual, ‘Free at last! totally free at last! give thanks to God Almighty, us are complimentary at last!"”

Anaphora This term describes the many famous component of the speech: King’s repetition of “I have actually a dream.”

I have a dream the one day this nation will rise up and live the end the true meaning of its creed: “We organize these truths to it is in self-evident: the all males are developed equal.”

I have a dream that one day on the red hills that Georgia the young of former slaves and also the young of former slave owners will be able to sit down with each other at the table that brotherhood.

I have a dream that one day also the state of Mississippi, a state sweltering v the warm of injustice, sweltering through the warmth of oppression, will be transformed into an oasis of freedom and justice.

I have actually a dream that my four tiny children will at some point live in a country where they will certainly not be judged by the color of their skin however by the contents of their character.

One century later, the life the the negro is still sadly crippled by the manacles the segregation and the chain of discrimination. One century later, the Negro resides on a lonely island of poverty in the midst of a substantial ocean of material prosperity. One century later, the black is quiet languishing in the corners the American culture and finds himself an exile in his very own land.

AssonanceLike alliteration, assonance adds an facet of music poetry to the speech.

We must forever conduct ours struggle on the high airplane of dignity and also discipline.

Extended MetaphorKing translates light with flexibility through the speech. Below are 2 examples:

This momentous decree came as a great beacon irradiate of hope to millions of Negro slaves who had been seared in the flames that withering injustice. It came as a joyous daybreak to end the long night of your captivity.

Now is the time to rise from the dark and desolate sink of segregation to the sunlit route of racial justice.

In the 3rd and fourth paragraph, King plays with the extended an allegory of expanding a check.

In a sense we have come to our nation’s funding to cash a check… (This check an allegory continues)

A music metaphor:

With this belief we will be able to transform the jangling discords that our nation into a beautiful symphony that brotherhood.

There are plenty of more metaphor examples. Could you discover them all?

MetonymyThese areas are not chosen at random. Castle represent places that to be filled through racism at the time. Because that instance, the KKK had actually just resurged in rock Mountain.

But not only that; let flexibility ring native Stone mountain of Georgia!Let flexibility ring native Lookout mountain of Tennessee!Let liberty ring native every hill and molehill of Mississippi.

HyperboleWe could call this instance hyperbole, because King is using numerous “alls” and “every”s. Yet this hyperbole belies a seriousness; the believes the true righteousness will only come as soon as every human believes in liberty for all.

And once this happens, once we permit freedom come ring, as soon as we let it ring indigenous every village and every hamlet, from every state and also every city, us will have the ability to speed up the day when all of God’s children, black men and also white men, Jews and Gentiles, Protestants and Catholics, will have the ability to join hands and sing.

ParallelismIf you ever want to jazz up a crowd, usage some parallelism in your sentences. It will certainly make civilization ready to fight…peacefully, of course. It additionally makes the present memorable, and perhaps represents the equality the the human being fighting together.

Go ago to Mississippi, go ago to Alabama, go ago to southern Carolina, go earlier to Georgia, go ago to Louisiana, go earlier to the slums and also ghettos that our northern cities, learning that in which method this case can and also will it is in changed.

With this faith we will be able to work together, come pray together, to battle together, to go to prison together, to stand up for freedom together, knowing that we will be complimentary one day.

PersonificationKing is casting American culture as a human being who has done African-Americans wrong. He believes that people who are fighting for civil legal rights aren’t fighting a person, however rather a system.

It is noticeable today the America has actually defaulted ~ above this promissory keep in mind insofar as her citizens of color are concerned. Rather of honoring this spiritual obligation, America has given the Negro people a poor check, a inspect which has actually come back marked “insufficient funds.”

SimileThis simile displayed the power of justice and righteousness, as well as the id that equality is a herbal thing. It’s also one of the most famous lines the the speech.

No, no, we are not satisfied, and also we will certainly not be satisfied until justice roll down like waters and righteousness choose a mighty stream.

SynecdocheBy representing people as body or flesh, King is remind his audience of that the problems they’re at this time facing are regarded their skin color.

We have the right to never it is in satisfied, as long as ours bodies, heavy with the exhaustion of travel, cannot gain lodging in the motels that the highways and also the hotels of the cities.

I have actually a dream that sooner or later every sink shall it is in exalted, every hill and mountain shall be made low, the rough places will it is in made plain, and also the crooked areas will be made straight, and also the glory that the lord shall be revealed, and all meat shall check out it together.

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Could you find other literature terms? Share them in the comments!

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