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House on Mango Street
Student Handout #2

Summing Up the Media’s Martin Luther King Day Message

Reflect on the summaries of TV news stories on Martin Luther King and on the article you read about him. In Part A below, rate the stories overall for specific ideas.  Then, in Part B, you will be asked to evaluate the overall media message on King.

Part A

Which of the following goals or beliefs stand out most in the coverage you heard and read?  On a scale of 1 to 5, rate how strongly the news media coverage of King shows these values as being important to him. 
1 = no coverage   2 = a little   3 = some    4 = a lot    5 = dominates the message

Goal or Belief Rate how strongly the media emphasize this goal or belief

Racial integration and harmony 


Opposition to U.S. support for dictators around the world  


A guaranteed annual income for all Americans 


Support for labor unions 


The need to challenge injustice with direct action and civil disobedience


Impatience with white “moderates”


Opposition to U.S. war in Vietnam 


A revolution in values  


The complete elimination of all poverty


Racial equality 


A society where ordinary people’s needs have higher priority than corporate profits  




Part B

Now look over the scores you gave each goal/belief above and discuss and write answers to the following questions on another paper:

1. What do you think the stories emphasize about Martin Luther King and his message? 

2. What do they tell us about his main goals?

3. Do you think the image we get of King and his views from these media reports is accurate? Is it complete?  Why or why not?  Or do you have any way of knowing?  Have you learned enough about King in the past to say confidently whether MLK Day news reports give us a fair picture?

4. We do know that the media spend a lot of time celebrating King as an individual, a great leader and orator.  Taking that into account, as well as which of King’s ideas are reported, what do you think the major news media want us to think about on about on King’s birthday? 

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