On respectable 28, 1963, young name Luther King, Jr. Led a march on Washington, D.C. The speech he offered that day is among the ideal known in American history. When people remember the “I have actually a Dream” speech, together it has concerned be known, castle recall King’s message about civil rights. But perhaps the factor it is so memorable is because King was a master of literary and also rhetorical devices. His word an option matched the strength of his message.

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This lesson plan enables students to evaluation literary terms, rhetorical devices and figurative language v a scavenger hunt with “I have actually a Dream” speech. climate you deserve to have students comment on or write around the speech making use of the literary terminology. This lesson have the right to be modified to occupational well for anyone from students simply learning about an allegory for the first time come AP student reviewing for their upcoming exams.

The class Plan

1. Evaluation the adhering to literary terms. (You can select as many or as couple of as you’d choose for your course to emphasis on because that this lesson). If you click on the hyperlinked terms, you’ll find definitions and also individualized great plans that we’ve created for the term.


2. Provide some historic background top top the “I have actually a Dream” speech by watching stclairdrake.net’s polite right’s song, “Let liberty Ring.”The track will be complimentary for boy name Luther King day, until January 20. Learn much more about martin Luther King, Jr. V our stclairdrake.net post about his life.

3. Provide each college student a printed copy the the “I have actually a Dream” speech, which you can print native here. Describe to students the they’ll be trying to find the literary state you’ve reviewed.

4. Show the video clip of the speech, and also while students space watching, ask them to underline and label examples of literary terms that they find. (You can even just emphasis on metaphors.)

5. Offer students time in tiny groups to testimonial the instances that they found and search because that more. You could also make this a compete to watch which group can discover the most instances of literary terms.

6. Testimonial the findings as a class. one of two people hold a discussion about how King’s use of these literary terms helped him to spread out his message, or ask student to write an essay addressing the question.

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

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

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

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

I have actually a dream the my four small children will one day live in a nation where they will certainly not it is in judged through the color of their skin however by the content of their character.

AllusionBy making use of a standard American President’s speech and also a renowned African-American spiritual as bookends come the speech, the is demonstrating the identical worth of both cultures.

The speech starts with “Five score years ago…”, a referral to the Gettysburg resolve and ends through the “words of the old negro spiritual, ‘Free in ~ last! totally free at last! thank God Almighty, we are complimentary at last!"”

Anaphora This term explains the many famous part of the speech: King’s repeat of “I have a dream.”

I have actually a dream that one day this country will climb up and live the end the true an interpretation of the creed: “We hold these truths to it is in self-evident: the all guys are developed equal.”

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

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

I have actually a dream that my four small children will sooner or later live in a nation where they will certainly not be judged through the color of their skin yet by the content of your character.

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

AssonanceLike alliteration, assonance add to an aspect of music poetry to the speech.

We must forever conduct our struggle top top the high airplane of dignity and discipline.

Extended MetaphorKing converts light with flexibility through the speech. Below are two examples:

This momentous decree came as a good beacon irradiate of expect to millions of Negro slaves who had been seared in the flames the withering injustice. It came as a joyous daybreak to finish the lengthy night of your captivity.

Now is the moment to increase from the dark and also desolate sink of segregation to the sunlit course of racial justice.

In the third and 4th paragraph, King plays with the extended metaphor of prolonging a check.

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

A musical metaphor:

With this confidence we will have the ability to transform the jangling discords that our country into a beautiful symphony the brotherhood.

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

MetonymyThese locations are not liked at random. Castle represent locations that to be filled with racism at the time. For instance, the KKK had just resurged in rock Mountain.

But not just that; let freedom ring native Stone hill of Georgia!Let liberty ring indigenous Lookout hill of Tennessee!Let flexibility ring indigenous every hill and molehill the Mississippi.

HyperboleWe could call this instance hyperbole, due to the fact that King is using several “alls” and also “every”s. Yet this hyperbole belies a seriousness; that believes that true justice will just come as soon as every human believes in flexibility for all.

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

ParallelismIf you ever want to jazz up a crowd, use some parallelism in your sentences. It will certainly make world ready to fight…peacefully, the course. It additionally makes the lines memorable, and perhaps to represent the equality that the civilization fighting together.

Go earlier to Mississippi, go ago to Alabama, go earlier to south Carolina, go earlier to Georgia, go back to Louisiana, go ago to the slums and also ghettos the our northern cities, understanding that in which method this case can and also will be changed.

With this faith we will have the ability to work together, to pray together, to struggle together, to go to jail together, to stand up for flexibility together, discovering that we will be totally free one day.

PersonificationKing is casting American culture as a person who has actually done African-Americans wrong. The believes that world who space fighting because that civil rights aren’t fighting a person, but rather a system.

It is apparent today that America has defaulted top top this promissory keep in mind insofar together her citizens of shade are concerned. Rather of honoring this spiritual obligation, America has given the Negro world a poor check, a check which has actually come back significant “insufficient funds.”

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

No, no, we space not satisfied, and we will not be satisfied until justice roll down like waters and righteousness favor a mighty stream.

SynecdocheBy representing civilization as bodies or flesh, King is remind his audience of that the troubles they’re at this time facing are pertained to their skin color.

We can never be satisfied, as lengthy as ours bodies, hefty with the tiredness of travel, cannot get lodging in the motels that the highways and also the many hotels of the cities.

I have a dream that someday every valley shall it is in exalted, every hill and also mountain shall be made low, the rough places will it is in made plain, and the crooked places will be made straight, and the glory the the lord shall be revealed, and also all flesh shall watch it together.

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Could you uncover other literature terms? Share lock in the comments!

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