A Poem for Black History Month and for Dreamers [Classroom Connections] [Poetry Friday]

Happy Poetry Friday! (Wondering what Poetry Friday is? Click here.)

[My Classroom Connections posts will share a way to connect one of my books or poems to a classroom topic–often something timely that you might be covering in the next month or so. Please share this post if you have educator friends who might be interested–thanks!]

Of course black history should be integrated into the classroom all year long! But since it will get some extra attention in the coming month, here’s an acrostic poem inspired by Martin Luther King, Jr.‘s “I Have a Dream” speech. This is from Tiny Dreams, Sprouting Tall: Poems About the United States (Capstone Press, 2008).

Dare

 

Dare to say

Race does not matter and

Each person can do

Amazing things. This is

MY DREAM!

–by Laura Purdie Salas (Tiny Dreams, Sprouting Tall: Poems About the United States, Capstone Press, 2008)

Wouldn’t it be cool to have students create posters about their own dreams for the future?

And for lots of wonderful poetry, don’t miss the Poetry Friday Roundup with poet-educator Carol Varsalona at Beyond LiteracyLink!

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19 Responses

  1. Yes to dreaming and daring… thank you Laura. We all have an “I Have a Dream” speech in us, I think. Thank you for sharing this one. xo

  2. I love your acrostic, Laura. And have tucked it away for next years’ MLK activities. We do, as a matter of fact, create a dream poster of sorts each year with our Kindergarten/First Grade Buddies. It’s heartwarming to know that young people care very deeply about the future, kindness, and world that is fair and just. Thank you!

  3. Thank you, Laura — your DREAM acrostic works perfectly. Plus, it puts me in mind not only of MLK Jr. but the DACA/Dreamers community. I feel a little heartache about both.

  4. What a clever acrostic poem! Have you read Little Fires Everywhere — quite an intensely drawn out discussion on race, there, that is quite interesting. 🙂

  5. I wonder if you ever got my comment. Here it goes again. MLK is one of my favorite historical figures and I was able to take the Civil Rights Tour with Michele Haiken when we were in Atlanta. It was so amazing walking in places where King was. I really like your Black History Month activity for the children. Thanks, Laura.

    1. Nope, this is the only time this comment has come through, and I don’t have any in the spam filter…? Anyway, thanks, and I bet that tour was absolutely unforgettable. To literally and figuratively follow in a great person’s footsteps…

  6. Yep — Amen-ing with Mary Lee. I was delighted to discover after moving here to Beaufort that MLK penned that speech, or part of it, not far from here on St. Helena Island. The house is on the property of The Penn Center, a wonderful cultural and historical resource.

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