The March on Washington

Expand/Collapse The March on Washington


This year marks the 51st anniversary of the 1963 March on Washington for Jobs and Freedom and will be commemorated by teachers and students across the country and around the world. Help your students appreciate the significance of this event – and its role in the larger Civil Rights Movement using this collection of digital content from PBS LearningMedia.

  • Excerpts from the March on Washington, Part 1

    The Reverend Martin Luther King Jr.'s "I Have a Dream" speech dominates popular history of the August 1963 March on Washington, but the day was full of speakers and performers. This audio compilation captures the voices of A. Philip Randolph, Ralph Abernathy, Roy Wilkins, Walter Reuther, Ralph Bunche, and Daisy Bates.

    Grades: 6-12
  • Excerpts from the March on Washington, Part 2

    At the 1963 March on Washington, civil rights leaders offered a "Tribute to Women," which recognized the leadership roles of women in the Civil Rights movement, as well as the widows of civil rights leaders who were murdered for their activism. This recording pays tribute to Rosa Parks, Daisy Bates, Diane Nash, Mrs. Herbert Lee, Mrs. Medgar Evers, and Gloria Richardson.

    Grades: 6-12
  • Excerpts from the March on Washington, Part 3

    John Lewis, heard here in this live recording from the 1963 March on Washington, was a leader of the Student Nonviolent Coordinating Committee (SNCC) who helped trigger a new activism among college students. Of all the March on Washington speeches, Lewis's was considered the most controversial for its criticism of the government.

    Grades: 6-12
  • March on Washington Flyers

    In August of 1963, more than 200,000 activists from all over the country gathered for the March on Washington for Jobs and Freedom. The day was filled with speeches, musical performances, and the declaration of political platforms, whose common theme was racial equality in America. The largest demonstration in American history to that date, it marked the apex of the Civil Rights movement. These flyers document the speakers and issues that pressured President John F. Kennedy to draft legislation guaranteeing equal rights for African Americans.

    Grades: 3-12
  • Official Program for the March on Washington (1963) and Resource Materials

    This program listed the events scheduled at the Lincoln Memorial during the August 28, 1963, March on Washington for Jobs and Freedom. The highlight of the march, which attracted 250,000 people, was Martin Luther King's "I Have a Dream" speech. This resource group includes 2 primary source images, a background essay and a transcript.

    Grades: 6-13+
  • Civil Rights Act (1964) and Resource Materials

    This act, signed into law by President Lyndon Johnson on July 2, 1964, prohibited discrimination in public places, provided for the integration of schools and other public facilities, and made employment discrimination illegal. This document was the most sweeping civil rights legislation since Reconstruction. This resource group includes 2 primary source images, a background essay and a transcript.

    Grades: 6-13+
  • 50th Anniversary of the March on Washington Lesson Plan: A Time for Change

    Use this lesson plan and interactive timeline to see the sequence of events leading up to the iconic March on Washington, who was involved in the march and what the march hoped to achieve.

    Grades: 7-12
  • The 50th Anniversary of the March on Washington Lesson Plan: “I Have a Dream” Speech as a Visionary Text

    Help your students connect to the rich imagery of Martin Luther King’s “I Have a Dream” speech by learning the history of the speech and then illustrating some of its most famous lines in this creative lesson plan.

    Grades: 6-8
  • March on Washington Lesson Plan: Racial Equality-How Far Have We Come and How Far do We Still Need to Go?

    Martin Luther King dreamed of an America where people could “not be judged by the color of their skin but by the content of their character.” Use this lesson plan to start a discussion in your classroom about where we are on the path to realizing this dream.

    Grades: 7-12
  • March on Washington: Math Lesson with materials

    You don’t have to be a civics or English teacher to talk about the March on Washington in your classroom. Use this engaging lesson plan to bring math into the equation, so to speak, with a classroom activity that helps students create a representative population of the march’s attendees.

    Grades: 7-12
  • The March

    The March documents the events leading up to The March on Washington for Jobs and Freedom, which drew more than 200,000 people to the National Mall on August 28, 1963. It presents a behind-the-scene look at the effort to organize The March, and examines the political and social events that merged to bring the March on Washington to fruition.

    Grades: 6-12
  • March on Washington: Fair or Unfair with materials

    Make issues of fairness, justice and discrimination personal to your students with this lesson plan, which includes an activity with Dr. Seuss!

    Grades: 7-12
  • The 50th Anniversary of the March on Washington: Leadership at the March through Music and Speeches

    While Martin Luther King’s “I Have a Dream” speech became the most famous to come out of the March on Washington, he was by no means to only person to address the massive crowd assembled on the National Mall. Use this lesson plan to look at the other civil rights leaders and orators who spoke that day, and how effectively they conveyed their messages.

    Grades: 7-12
  • Analyzing King's "I Have a Dream" Speech Lesson Plan

    Students study Martin Luther King Jr.'s "I Have a Dream" speech and discuss the rhetorical influences on King's speech, the oratorical devices that King uses in delivering his speech and how a speech is similar to/different from other literary forms.

    Grades: 6-13+
  • Analyzing King's "I Have a Dream" Speech Video

    In this video, schoolchildren take turns reading from Martin Luther King, Jr.'s famous "I Have a Dream Speech" on the steps of the Lincoln Memorial.

    Grades: 6-13+

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