The month of February is Black History Month, also known as African-American History Month. It is celebrated yearly in February in the United States and Canada and coincides with the birthdays of Abraham Lincoln on February 12 and Fredrick Douglass on February 14.
MindWing Concepts would like to contribute to this celebration by posting several lessons to use with the Story Grammar Marker® and ThemeMaker® that focus on the contributions and accomplishments of black Americans. These postings will include a little known, but related, story of a Springfield Massachusetts Baseball Team which chose friendship over victory eighty years ago in the American Legion Playoffs.
This first contribution is a free lesson from MindWing’s East Meets West (Vol. 2) For The Holidays and Important Life Events. The subject is a short play from Scholastic entitled I Have a Dream.
This selection is a play, available and reproducible via the Internet. It was chosen because of its topic, Internet availability, and the fact that it is a play. There are seven scenes, differing in settings. Download the reproducible text at Scholastic’s Teachers site.
This original play, incorporating the themes of loss, hard work, nurturance of family, and triumph over adversity, can be read and performed by children from third through fifth grade. We have included a text analysis of all the scenes, although not every one is mapped on a Story Grammar Marker® map. The dramatic format is very useful for those children for whom “acting” is second nature as well as for those children who need much work on such pragmatic elements as tone of voice and body language, since they can learn from each other. Because the content is to be performed, there are opportunities for students to become scenery designers, costume creators, stage hands and other “behind the scenes” experts.
Theater terms such as lines, casting, stage right/left, blocking, positioning facing the audience, projecting, waiting in the wings, backstage, memorization, narrator and enunciation are fun to learn and the experience may inspire a career in theater!
The content of this play, focusing on a young Martin Luther King, helps to personalize the social studies content of the Civil Rights Movement and the role of Martin Luther King, Jr.