EL Civics for ESL Students

Martin Luther King, Jr. Lesson

U.S. History and Government
Martin Luther King, Jr. I Have a Dream Speech

Civil Rights Protestors


1. When he was born the doctor wrote 'Michael' instead of Martin on his birth certificate. He changed it when he was older.

2. Dr. King was against the United State's involvement in the Vietnam War.

3. More than 730 American cities have streets named after him.

4. The night before he was killed, Dr. King spoke about his death.

5. Martin Luther King, Jr. continued to receive awards after his death. In 1977, he was awarded the Presidential Medal of Freedom by President Jimmy Carter.

  • Martin Luther King, Jr. fought for civil rights.
  • He worked for equality for African Americans and all Americans.
  • He was part of the Civil Rights Movement, which tried to end racial discrimination.
  • King was born on January 15, 1929, in Atlanta, Georgia.
  • He entered college when he was 15 years old.
  • At 24 years old, he became the minister of Dexter Avenue Baptist Church in Montgomery, Alabama.
  • For 382 days he led the Montgomery Bus Boycott.
  • Dr. King believed in nonviolent civil disobedience.
  • In 1963, during the March on Washington for Jobs and Freedom, he gave his famous "I Have a Dream" speech in front of the Lincoln Memorial.
  • His dream was equality and civil rights for all Americans.
  • In 1964, he won the Nobel Peace Prize.
  • King was shot and killed by James Earl Ray in Memphis, Tennessee, on April 4, 1968.
  • He was shot while he was on the second floor balcony of the Lorraine Motel.
  • About 300,000 people attended his funeral.
  • Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. is buried at the King Center. His wife Coretta Scott King is buried with him.
  • The third Monday in January is Martin Luther King, Jr. Day. It is a national holiday. It is on January 19 in 2015.
  • A memorial in Washington, D.C. is being built to honor Dr. King.
  EL Civics >>

Copyrights to the pictures and photos on this ESL lesson and EL Civics website belong to individual photographers. We have purchased the rights to use them. Do not copy the pictures and photos on this ESL website. Permission is granted to copy any of the worksheets for classroom or home use. You may also link to any page of this website. Contact Christina Niven, ESL teacher, at christina@elcivics.com. Please send corrections, comments, greetings, and requests for new ESL and civics lessons. Copyright © Christina Niven, 2007.