Lesson Plan

Martin Luther King, Jr., Gandhi, and the Power of Nonviolence

Mohandas Gandhi leading the Salt March, March 1930.
Photo caption

Mohandas Gandhi leading the Salt March, March 1930.

This lesson introduces students to the philosophy of nonviolence and the teachings of Mohandas K. Gandhi that influenced Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.'s views. After considering the political impact of this philosophy and viewing videos about each man, including Dr. King discussing Gandhi's influence, students explore its relevance to personal life and contemporary society.

Guiding Questions

To what extent did Gandhi and King agree on how best to achieve their goals?

Does nonviolent resistance work?

Learning Objectives

Analyze the philosophies of nonviolence developed by Mohandas K. Gandhi and Martin Luther King, Jr.

Evaluate the extent to which the practice of nonviolent resistance has succeeded.

Assess the relevance of nonviolence to one's own life. 

Evaluate nonviolent resistance as a means of action within the context of contemporary conflicts.