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Langston Hughes, Dr. King, and Me!

 

Preparation

Pring copies of Student Worksheet.

Collect useful sources for talking about Hughes and King. For Hughes, the short illustrated biography by Alice Walker may be a useful source for yourself and for sharing with students. 

Lesson

>Give students the time-line sheet and have them fill in the part for their year of birth. 

>Talk about how things have changed in the USA over this time--as is appropriate for the age. 

>Have them read the sections below and fill out the part for themselves except for the "heart-melody."

>Discuss about how Hughes focused on life of African-Americans under legal segration laws and showed a wide public a perspective most had never seen. Talk about how later King and many others took action to change those laws of segregation. Poems such as "Merry-Go-Round," "Minstrel Man," and "Baby" are useful examples. 

>Discuss about how each had a "heart melody" and used thier abilities to focus on it -- Huges as a writer, Kind as a speaker and organizer.

>Finally, ask students to think of their own heart melody--something that keeps them going or a change they'd like to see happen. They can fill in the "heart-melody" blank.

The reverse of the worksheet has a colleciton of poems. You can discuss them and use them as a launching place for a Dream Flag poem.

You may also want to use the Reflection + Action lesson for some students as a related follow up activity.

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