Resource Center

Creating Dream Flag Poems in Elementary School

Here is a simple one-page handout from one of our teacher workshops on creating Dream Flag Poems in the elementary school, especially those younger grades. Several of our preschool sites have used these ideas as well, with success. Dream Flags can be purely visual, or combinations of text with visual elements. Younger children may find it easier to create the visual element if they have some words to focus on, so we suggest doing some writing (or dictating) first, but you will know your children best. Read More...

MLK Day Lesson Plan

Langston Hughes is poet who grew up under Jim Crow laws just like the character Cassie in Roll of Thunder Hear My Cry by Mildred Taylor. He published his first book of poems in 1926, just seven years before Cassie’s story takes place. He wrote about how things were and what he could dream of. In some ways, he set the stage for people like Martin Luther King, Jr. who spoke about his dreams about 40 years later. King wrote: Read More...

Dream Flag Song Score

This is a musical score of our setting of "Dream Keeper" by Langston Hughes, our theme poem. It is arranged in two parts with chords for piano and guitar. Read More...

Poetry Lesson Plan

This is an outline for a unit that might take three to six normal class periods and result in the writing of Dream Flag poems. It begins with a look at the life and dream poetry of Langston Hughes, the inspiration of the Dream Flag Project, and continues with some ideas for writing. The Dream Flag will be a piece of 8 ½ x 11 in. fabric with an original poem on it. Read More...

Dream Poetry Writing Assignments

Here is a series of dream poetry assignments. They are intended to go from easy (structured) to hard (unstructured), to help students think metaphorically, and to help students get away from the idea that rhyming defines poetry. Read More...

Lesson Ideas for Selected Langston Hughes Poems

Here are some classroom ideas for a few Langston Hughes poems found in the anthology The Dream Keeper. Most of these are geared for upper elementary or middle school students. The ideas are not necessarily about dream poems or writing them, but are aimed at helping students to understand and experience the way poems work. This may help them as poetry writers as well. Read More...

Connect: Attaching Flags to a Line

Dream Flags themselves, one by one, have a special power. The simple act of connecting them to a line, where several can be viewed at once, changes the impact of the poetry once again. Here are a few pointers for connecting flags to a line. Read More...