Teaching About the 1963 March on Washington, Grades K-5
Lessons, Activities, and Resources Explore the Events Leading up to the August 28 Event, and Help Place It in Historical Context
August 28, 2015 is the 52nd anniversary of the March on Washington for Jobs & Freedom. Examine the March with these lessons, background resources, audios, and videos for grades K-5.
Dr. King’s Dream
Students in grades K-2 learn about the life and work of civil rights leader Martin Luther King, Jr., listen to an excerpt from his "I Have a Dream" speech, and create picture books about freedom for Americans today.
To March or Not to March
Students in grades 3-5 pretend it is 1963 and decide whether or not to join the March on Washington.
Proposed March on Washington (1941)
During WW II, A. Philip Randolph, head of the Brotherhood of Sleeping Car Porters, called for a massive demonstration of blacks to demand jobs in the defense industry. This proposed demonstration was a blueprint for the 1963 March on Washington.
The Call to Negro America to March on Washington (1941), A. Philip Randolph
The text of Randolph’s call for support.
An Oral History of the March on Washington
Text, photographs, videos, and interviews with the leaders who were there.
Never-Before-Seen Photographs of the March on Washington
Stanley Tretick’s photographs have never been published before.
Eyes on the Prize: March on Washington
This section of the PBS series covers the March and includes text, music, video, and photographs.
March on Washington for Jobs and Freedom, August 28, 1963
Articles on the March by Freedom Movement Veterans.
The March on Washington, August 1963: Power to the People
Life magazine’s coverage of the March in text and photos.
The March on Washington
The March from planning to aftermath, including JFK’s stance and public opinion.
JFK, A. Philip Randolph and the March on Washington
This reading has a lesson plan for grades 9-12 attached.
Behind the March on Washington
This 40th anniversary (2003) program examines the struggles to stage the event. It links to many related resources.
- Document for August 28th: Official Program for the March on Washington
- March on Washington Fast Facts
- John Lewis, "Speech At The March On Washington" (28 August, 1963) ( PDF, 195 KB, 19 pgs.)
Biographical and historical background and the text of Lewis’s speech.
- Walter Reuther’s Remarks at the March on Washington
Excerpts from Reuther’s remarks
- James Farmer’s Remarks about the March on Washington
Excerpts from Farmer’s remarks
Audio & Video
March on Washington for Jobs and Freedom
Audio of five speeches given by A. Philip Randolph, John Lewis, Roy Wilkins, Whitney Young, Jr., and Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.
The March on Washington (1963)
Archival Video (20:26)
John Lewis Marches On (56:54)
Bill Moyers and Rep. John Lewis (D-GA) discuss the March.
March on Washington Playlist (YouTube)
last updated: June 26, 2015