Additional Projects/Activities I
(All materials named are included at end of this packet.)
These projects are intended to build upon whatever understanding
students may get from the main unit. Among other things,
I hope they will expand the media literacy that may have
come from looking at how King has been packaged for the
public, and lead students to consider other areas where
our perception is sharply limited by the information usually
- (Adapted from Rethinking Schools, December
2001) After reviewing King’s statements about the
War in Vietnam in the handout “Beyond I Have a Dream”
(pp. 2-5), respond to any or all of the following assignments
a. Do you think Dr. King would support U.S. policies
today? What evidence from his speech supports your conclusion?
What policies would he urge?
b. Write a speech that Martin Luther King might deliver
today if he were alive. It should cover the events of
September 11, “terrorism” of all kinds,
the war in Afghanistan, and the threat of (as of 1/7/
2002) war in Iraq, but can cover other topics as well.
c. King talks about the giant triplets of racism, materialism,
and militarism. In what ways are these giant triplets
at work in today’s crisis? Make charts headed
with these categories and to list all the ways you see
these forces at work in the current circumstances. Choose
one of the triplets and design a poster illustrating
d. Write a dialogue between Dr. King and another individual:
you, George W. Bush, a member of the Taliban, one of
the September 11 attackers, someone who fled the bombing
of Afghanistan, a refugee in a camp in Gaza or the West
- Look up Martin Luther King in the index of your U.S.
History textbook, The Americans. Write down all
of the page numbers listed after his name. Read about
King on each of these pages. In most cases, King is discussed
for only a paragraph or a sentence (and only appears in
a photograph on page 667), so it isn’t really a
huge amount to read. Take notes on all of the ideas the
textbook attributes to Dr. King.
Which of the views shown on the pages handed out in
class show up in our textbook? What conclusions can
you draw from this mini-research project?
- Write a letter to a local TV station or newspaper and
tell them how you feel about the coverage they give to
King on his birthday and, possibly, during Black History
Month. If you like some things about it, say so. Also
tell them what kind of information you think should be
included that usually is left out.
- In King’s “Beyond Vietnam” speech,
he suggests that the interconnected problems of poverty,
militarism and racism cannot be solved as long as our
society protects property rights and profits more than
it serves human needs. Write an essay supporting or disputing
this belief. Use the handout “Essay on King’s
Giant Triplets of Racism, Extreme Materialism and Militarism.”