A Dream for All
based on This is the Dream
by Diane Z. Shore and Jessica Alexander
About the Book
In 1963, Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. delivered his famous “I have a Dream” speech to over 200,000 people in Washington D.C. He spoke of his dream of a nation with true equality for all. Through strong verse and vivid, thought provoking illustrations, This is the Dream takes the reader through civil rights marches, boycotts, and influential leaders that help this dream become a reality. The book gives examples of life in the United States before, during and after the civil rights movement. Because of the realization of the dream, Americans experience greater justice and equality then ever before.
Set the Stage
Get the student prepared to read and understand this book by discussing the following:
- What does segregation mean? Discuss various ways people can be segregated. Why do you think it is wrong to separate people by race?
- Discuss the concept of civil rights.
- Look at the cover of the book. Make predictions about who might be segregated in the book.
- Show the title page of the book. Read the quote by Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Discuss how one can have strength without using violence.
After the students have read the book, use the following questions to lead a discussion:
- Look back through the first part of the book before the civil rights movement. Notice that there is separation between African Americans and whites. “Separate but equal” was the idea that it was okay to separate the races as long as both were provided with the same things. Did this idea work? What does the book tell us and show us to support your answer.
- What ways does the book show how African Americans began to “fight” for civil rights? How do these illustrate King’s quote “It was an army without guns, but not without strength?"
- How does the African American experience change from the beginning of this book to the end of this book? Do you think the dream has been totally realized?
- Did this book change the way you look at people who are different from you?
- What was the purpose of this book?
Use this activity to help reinforce the student’s comprehension of this book and understanding of the civil rights movement.
To extend the students’ comprehension of the book, try these:
- Was It Just a Dream?: Have students listen to a portion of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.’s “I have a Dream” speech. Talk about how this relates to the book. Was his dream realized? Have the students brainstorm ways that his dream could become even stronger today.
- Civil Rights Leaders: Four civil rights leaders are pictured in the book. Have students work in groups and research how these individuals contributed to the civil rights movement. Have students look for other civil rights leaders.
- Long Road to Equal Rights: Have students work on a time line for the civil rights movement. Give various events starting back with the constitution, abolishment of slavery, African Americans gaining the right to vote, integration of schools, etc. This will show students that equality for African Americans has been a long and challenging process.
- Discrimination Today: Discuss the concept of discrimination. Have students list ways that people are still discriminated against today. What other groups are discriminated against?
- Be an Illustrator: The illustrations in the book are wonderful collages. Have student use magazines, photographs and drawings to make their own collages to represent their reflections of this book.