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House on Mango Street

Detailed Instructions of each day: Day Two

1. Have students discuss which of King’s ideas they found in the article they read for homework.  See if any students found any information about King’s ideas that they didn’t know already.

2.  Distribute Student Handout #2, “Summing Up the Media’s Martin Luther King Day Message,” and ask them to follow the instructions.  This should help students to categorize those of King’s ideas publicized by the major media.  They should refer to their two-column notes about the TV news coverage on MLK and to their notes on the newspaper article.  This activity also is meant prepare them to define the many areas of King’s thinking they’re about to discover.

3. Students are about to get a look at many things King said that they probably never heard before.  Before we did this in my class, I played a short excerpt of audio tape.  Writer and professor Michael Eric Dyson (author of I May Not Get There With You/The Real Martin Luther King, Jr.) gives a fiery speech about the truth behind the official story on King. 

His words are on Teacher Material #2.  You may read Dyson’s words to the class or, better yet, play an audio recording for the class.

Since Dyson delivered speech with such passion, it would be worth it to record the audio and play it for the class.  You will need RealPlayer, software, which can be downloaded for free.  Then you can find the program (Democracy Now, February 1, 2000) at http://www.webactive.com/rihurl.ram?file=webactive/demnow/dn20000201.ra&start="1:00.4

A box with RealPlayer will appear on the screen and load the program.  Slide the control near the top of the box to the right until the time displayed in the lower right corner reads approximately 24:10.  That’s where the words on Teacher Handout #2 begin.  (If the nearest reading you can slide it to is slightly before that, you’ll hear a violin playing “Wade in the Water,” as a musical pause in the Dyson speech.)


Give students Student Handout #3, nine pages called “Beyond ‘I Have a Dream,’ (What the media don’t quote from Martin Luther King on his birthday).” Page nine of the handout is the instruction sheet. I’d suggest assigning each student one of the first seven pages for homework, so that they jig-saw their knowledge at the next class. (You could have them count off by sevens.) Pages 1-7 are the ones packed with more “unexpected” ideas for students. I included page 8, because it’s so moving and you might want to use it later.) The instruction sheet gives students five questions to answer about the page of quotes they read. Again, they will identify specific ideas and separate them into those they knew already and those they didn’t know before. This time, they are likely to find far more ideas they had not known before than stuff they did know. Students are also asked to identify quotes that surprise them and something that is particularly striking or moving.

Teacher's Guide
Essential Questions
Day One
Day Two
Day Three
Day Four
Additional Projects/Activities I
Additional Projects/Activities II
Additional Projects/Activities III
Additional Projects/Activities IV
Transcript of TV Reports
Michael Eric Dyson
  Materials for Other Activities
Instructions for Essay on King's Giant Triplets
Who Killed Martin Luther King?
St. Martin, The Militant
All Things Censored
Native American Resistance
Day Of Shame
Samples Of Student Work

Urban Dreams
OUSD Curriculum Unit
Hidden In Plain Sight -
Martin Luther King, Jr.'s
Radical Vision
Subject: U.S. History
Grade Level: 11th

Lesson Plan Author:
Craig Gordon
Organization: OUSD