Activity Overview

Read alouds are excellent tools for teachers both in the classroom, and virtually. When tied to a specific topic, such as the Civil Rights Movement, they help the students spark discussions, share their views, and learn new vocabulary. Martin’s Big Words is a picture book about Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., and how words have had an impact on him since he was a child. Martin grew up to be a man who spoke words for a living, and used words to change the world. Some of the most famous words that Martin spoke were from his “I Have a Dream” speech, which was said in front of hundreds of thousands of people at the March On Washington.

For this activity, teachers may read the book aloud to the whole class, discussing as they read, or assign the book in small groups or independently for older children. Next, students will create a 2-3 cell spider map, illustrating dreams they have for the world. To differentiate, teachers may choose to use cells with just a heading and an illustration, or include a description box for students to explain their dreams.

Template and Class Instructions

(These instructions are completely customizable. After clicking "Copy Activity", update the instructions on the Edit Tab of the assignment.)

Due Date:

Objective: Students will create a 2-3 cell spider map that illustrates their dreams for the future.

Student Instructions:

  1. Click “Start Assignment”.
  2. Identify your dreams for the future and write them in the headings.
  3. Write a short description in the description boxes.
  4. Create an image for each, using appropriate scenes, characters, and items.


Lesson Plan Reference

Common Core Standards
  • [ELA-Literacy/RL/1/7] Use illustrations and details in a story to describe its characters, setting, or events.
  • [ELA-Literacy/RI/3/7] Use information gained from illustrations (e.g., maps, photographs) and the words in a text to demonstrate understanding of the text (e.g., where, when, why, and how key events occur).
  • [ELA-Literacy/SL/2/2] Recount or describe key ideas or details from a text read aloud or information presented orally or through other media.


(You can also create your own on Quick Rubric.)

5 Points
3 Points
1 Points
The descriptions are clear and at least two sentences.
The descriptions can be understood but it are somewhat unclear.
The descriptions are unclear and are not at least two sentences.
The illustrations represent the descriptions using appropriate scenes, characters and items.
The illustrations relate to the descriptions, but are difficult to understand.
The illustrations do not clearly relate to the descriptions.
Evidence of Effort
Work is well written and carefully thought out.
Work shows some evidence of effort.
Work shows little evidence of any effort.
Spelling, grammar, and punctuation are mostly correct.
Spelling, grammar, and punctuation are somewhat correct.
Spelling, grammar, and punctuation are mostly incorrect.

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