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My Uncle Martin’s Words for America. Objective: Students will understand the impact that Martin Luther King, Jr. had on the events of the Civil Rights Movement.

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My Uncle Martin’s Words for America

Objective: Students will understand the impact that Martin Luther King, Jr. had on the events of the Civil Rights Movement.

Book Summary: Told from the perspective of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.’s niece, students learn about the words of love and peace that Dr. King used to fight for civil rights.

Setting: The Civil Rights Movement,1955-1968

  • Links to Primary Sources:
  • The Civil Rights Act-1964
  • March on Washington Program and Photo
  • Marching for Equal Rights
  • "I Have a Dream" Speech Video
  • March on Washington Footage
  • More March on Washington Footage

Author: Angela Farris Watkins, PhD

Illustrator: Eric Velasquez

My Uncle Martin’s Words for America

Abrams Books for Young Readers, 2011

Katie Pruett—Winthrop University—October 2012


What were the significant events that led to the changes made during the Civil Rights Movement ?

  • Research and Make a Timeline
  • There were many important events that led to change during the Civil Rights Movement. Make a timeline highlighting the significant events and the laws passed during that time period.

President Lyndon B. Johnson signs the Civil Rights Act of 1964 as Martin Luther King Jr. looks on.


What would it have been like to hear

Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. speak?

  • Journal Entry
  • Dr. King was a magnificent speaker who commanded the attention of all who heard him. Imagine that you were in the crowd when Dr. King gave his famous “I Have A Dream” speech, and write a journal entry about that experience.

Martin Luther King Jr. delivered his famous “I Have a Dream” speech at the March on Washington on

August 28, 1963.


How was life different for African Americans because of the work of people like Martin Luther King Jr.?

A man drinks from the water cooler labeled for “colored” people

  • Compare and Contrast
  • Because of the work of people like Dr. King, laws were changed that gave African Americans privileges that they had never had before. Create a Venn Diagram comparing life before and after the Civil Rights Movement.


  • NCSS Thematic Strands
  • Time, Continuity, and Change
  • Power, Authority, and Governance
  • Civic Ideals and Practices
  • South Carolina Standard
  • Standard 3-5: The student will demonstrate an understanding of the major developments in South Carolina in the late nineteenth and the twentieth century.
  • Indicator 3-5.1: Summarize the development of economic, political, and social opportunities of African Americans in South Carolina, including the end of Jim Crow laws; the desegregation of schools (Briggs v. Elliott) and other public facilities; and efforts of African Americans to achieve the right to vote.


  • Photo of Signing of Civil Rights Act-1964
  • Photo of Martin Luther King Jr. Speaking at the March on Washington
  • Photo of Man Drinking from "Colored" Fountain