Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. : "I Have A Dream"

publication date: Jan 5, 2011
author/source: Carol Montgomery

Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. :  "I Have A Dream"

We're trying to get copyright permission for this free Readers Theater script based on the powerful speech by Dr. Martin Luther King:  "I Have a Dream."  Apparently it is NOT in public domain as we thought.  Until we get permission you may try to adapt his speech to your own Readers Theater script.  Why?  This powerful, life-changing speech is often glossed over.  Readers Theater forces students to read, reread, and orally interpret the passionate words in this speech. 

How to Write a Script for Readers Theater

from Dr. Martin Luther King's Speech: 

"I Have a Dream"

Here are brief instructions in how to creatively adapt Dr. Martin Luther King's "I Have a Dream" speech for Readers Theater:

1.  Go to http://www.mlkonline.net/
     “One Stop Source” for MLK online.  This site apparently is licensed to offer all of Dr. Martin Luther King's material, including the text, audio, and video for the "I Have a Dream" speech.  Listen to the video of the speech and find the text.

2.  Select the part(s) of the speech you want to highlight--IF you are not doing the entire speech.  I chose the section after he set his notes down which includes the lyrics to "My Country 'Tis of Thee."

3.  Start with a narrator or two to give a flavor of the setting of the speech.

4.  Figure out how many parts you want in your script.

5.  Divide the speech up into parts.  (Besides the narrators I called them MLK 1, MLK 2...)

6.  Decide if you want a chorus or group of voices to emphasize any words or phrases.  Add them, if desired.

7.  Read the script aloud when you are done.  Change parts as needed.

8.  Let students experience the privilege of hearing the speech as passionately presented by Dr. Martin Luther King on video BEFORE you do the Readers Theater script.  Your script is to reinforce, not replace his speech. 

9.  Follow-up with critical thinking questions.  (You may use Bloom's Taxonomy of Learning to help.  Wikipedia may have a good explanation here:  http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Bloom%27s_Taxonomy
You will want the section on the cognitive domain.)  

Readers Theater All Year™ LLC builds leaders and creators for positive influence through an inexpensive, easy, flexible system.  Readers Theater All Year™ LLC curriculum services provides a caring community for using and creating Readers Theater scripts for families, classrooms, homeschools, camps, and drama clubs.

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