On respectable 28, 1963, martin Luther King, Jr. Led a in march on Washington, D.C. The decided he gave that day is among the ideal known in American history. When civilization remember the “I have a Dream” speech, together it has pertained to be known, lock recall King’s message about civil rights. Yet perhaps the factor it is therefore memorable is due to the fact that King was a grasp of literary and rhetorical devices. His word selection matched the stamin of his message.

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This class plan permits students to evaluation literary terms, rhetorical devices and also figurative language with a scavenger hunt with “I have a Dream” speech. climate you deserve to have students talk about or write about the speech using the literary terminology. This lesson deserve to be modification to work well for everyone from students just learning about an allegory for the first time to AP students reviewing for their upcoming exams.

The great Plan

1. Review the adhering to literary terms. (You can select as numerous or as couple of as you’d prefer for your course to emphasis on because that this lesson). If you click the hyperlinked terms, you’ll find definitions and also individualized great plans the we’ve produced for the term.

AnaphoraParallelismSynecdoche

2. Offer some historical background top top the “I have a Dream” speech by the town hall sdrta.net’s civil right’s song, “Let flexibility Ring.”The track will be totally free for martin Luther King day, until January 20. Learn an ext about martin Luther King, Jr. V our sdrta.net post around his life.


3. Offer each college student a printed copy that the “I have actually a Dream” speech, which you deserve to print from here. Describe to students the they’ll be looking for the literary terms you’ve reviewed.

4. Display the video of the speech, and also while students space watching, asking them come underline and label instances of literary terms that they find. (You could even just emphasis on metaphors.)

5. Give students time in little groups to evaluation the examples that lock found and also search for more. Girlfriend could additionally make this a competition to check out which group can discover the most instances of literature terms.

6. Review the findings together a class. either hold a discussion about how King’s use of these literary terms assisted him to spread out his message, or ask college student to create one essay addressing that question.

Examples that Literary state in the “I have a Dream Speech”

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AlliterationThe repeat of sounds renders the speech much more catchy and also memorable.

In a sense we have come to our nation’s capital to cash a check.

We cannot it is in satisfied as long as a Negro in Mississippi cannot vote and also a Negro in New York believes he has nothing for which come vote. No, no…

I have a dream the my four small children will sooner or later live in a nation where they will certainly not be judged by the color of your skin yet by the content of their character.

AllusionBy making use of a standard American President’s speech and a well known African-American spiritual together bookends to the speech, the is demonstrating the equivalent worth the both cultures.

The speech starts with “Five score years ago…”, a recommendation to the Gettysburg resolve and ends with the “words the the old negro spiritual, ‘Free in ~ last! cost-free at last! say thanks to God Almighty, we are complimentary at last!"”

Anaphora This term defines the many famous part of the speech: King’s repetition of “I have a dream.”

I have a dream that one day this country will increase up and also live the end the true an interpretation of its creed: “We host these truths to it is in self-evident: that all men are produced equal.”

I have a dream that one day ~ above the red hills that Georgia the sons of previous slaves and the young of former slave owners will be able to sit down with each other at the table of brotherhood.

I have a dream the one day even the state of Mississippi, a state sweltering through the warmth of injustice, sweltering through the heat of oppression, will be transformed into an oasis the freedom and also justice.

I have actually a dream that my four little children will one day live in a nation where they will certainly not be judged by the color of their skin however by the content of their character.

One century later, the life that the negro is still sadly crippled through the manacles the segregation and the chain of discrimination. One century later, the Negro stays on a lonely island of poor in the midst of a vast ocean of material prosperity. One century later, the black is tho languishing in the corners of American society and finds himself an exile in his own land.

AssonanceLike alliteration, assonance adds an element of music poetry come the speech.

We must forever conduct our struggle on the high aircraft of dignity and also discipline.

Extended MetaphorKing equates light with liberty through the speech. Below are 2 examples:

This momentous decree come as a great beacon irradiate of hope to countless Negro servants who had been seared in the flames of withering injustice. It came as a joyous daybreak to finish the long night of your captivity.

Now is the moment to rise from the dark and also desolate sink of segregation to the sunlit path of racial justice.

In the 3rd and fourth paragraph, King plays through the extended metaphor of expanding a check.

In a feeling we have involved our nation’s resources to cash a check… (This check an allegory continues)

A music metaphor:

With this confidence we will be able to transform the jangling discords the our country into a beautiful symphony of brotherhood.

There are many more metaphor examples. Could you find them all?

MetonymyThese locations are not preferred at random. Lock represent areas that to be filled through racism in ~ the time. Because that instance, the KKK had actually just resurged in stone Mountain.

But not just that; let freedom ring indigenous Stone mountain of Georgia!Let flexibility ring indigenous Lookout hill of Tennessee!Let liberty ring native every hill and molehill that Mississippi.

HyperboleWe could call this example hyperbole, due to the fact that King is using numerous “alls” and “every”s. However this hyperbole belies a seriousness; the believes that true righteousness will only come once every person believes in freedom for all.

And as soon as this happens, when we allow freedom come ring, once we let it ring indigenous every village and every hamlet, from every state and also every city, us will be able to speed up the day when every one of God’s children, black men and white men, Jews and also Gentiles, Protestants and Catholics, will be able to join hands and also sing.

ParallelismIf you ever want to jazz increase a crowd, use some parallelism in her sentences. It will make world ready come fight…peacefully, of course. It likewise makes the present memorable, and also perhaps to represent the equality the the people fighting together.

Go ago to Mississippi, go back to Alabama, go back to southern Carolina, go earlier to Georgia, go ago to Louisiana, go back to the slums and ghettos the our north cities, understanding that somehow this instance can and will it is in changed.

With this faith we will be able to work together, to pray together, to battle together, to go to jail together, to wake up for flexibility together, knowing that we will be complimentary one day.

PersonificationKing is casting American culture as a person who has actually done African-Americans wrong. That believes that human being who space fighting for civil legal rights aren’t fighting a person, but rather a system.

It is apparent today that America has actually defaulted on this promissory note insofar as her citizen of shade are concerned. Rather of honoring this sacred obligation, America has offered the Negro people a poor check, a examine which has actually come back marked “insufficient funds.”

SimileThis simile displayed the power of justice and also righteousness, and also the belief that equality is a organic thing. It’s also one that the most famed lines that the speech.

No, no, we are not satisfied, and also we will not be satisfied until justice rolls down choose waters and also righteousness like a mighty stream.

SynecdocheBy representing civilization as bodies or flesh, King is reminding his audience of that the difficulties they’re right now facing are related to their skin color.

We can never be satisfied, as long as ours bodies, heavy with the tiredness of travel, cannot acquire lodging in the motels the the highways and also the many hotels of the cities.

I have actually a dream that someday every valley shall it is in exalted, every hill and mountain shall it is in made low, the rough areas will be made plain, and also the crooked locations will be made straight, and also the glory the the lord shall it is in revealed, and also all flesh shall see it together.

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Could you find other literary terms? Share them in the comments!

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