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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

Found In: language arts, social studies, preK-2, 3-5

August 28th is the 56th anniversary of the March on Washington for Jobs & Freedom. Examine the March with these lessons, background resources, audios, and videos for grades K-5.

Lesson Plans

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.
Background Resources

Background Resources


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.


Behind the March on Washington
This 40th anniversary (2003) program examines the struggles to stage the event. It links to many related resources.




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 4, 2019


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