Selma to Montgomery - Graphing Martin Luther King's Walk

By Susan LoFranco on Apr 24, 2017

  • Student will graph a simple ratio by connecting the origin to a point representing the ratio in the form of y/x

Scaffolding:  It may be necessary to review with the student the relationship between distance travelled, rate, and time spent travelling at that rate.  


map of Selma to Montgomery route


Vocabulary: linear equation, proportional relationship, ratio

  • Review with student the details of the March from Selma to Montgomery discussing how far the participant marched in total and over the 4 days.  Complete the related questions on the Walking to Montgomery WorksheetHow many days will it take you to walk 54 miles
  • Explain that based on this you will be first calculating how long it takes the student to walk one mile (see various methods of measuring time/distance in the Other Materials section.
  • After determining the students rate of walking complete the Rate/Distance Chart found on the Walking to Montgomery Worksheet. Help the student complete the first two lines.  If the student is confident have them complete the remainder of the chart to 15 miles.
  • The Rate/Distance Chart only asks that the student calculate how many minutes it takes to walk 15 miles.  Confirm if the student notices a proportional relationship, for every mile walked it takes an additional x minutes.
  • Instead of continuing the chart to cover 54 miles use the x/y proportion to solve for x minutes at 54 miles (see the answer sheet) Minutes walked/Miles = Minutes walked/Miles
  • Solve for x.
  • Graph the Chart and results to 54 miles. 
  • Now that we have calculated how many minutes it can take your student to walk 54 miles let’s calculate how many miles (y) you can walk in how many minutes (x).  The way to do this is to calculated Minutes walked/Miles = x/y.  Again use the Walking to Montgomery Worksheet to compete this portion.  Have the student use any line in the Rate/Distance Chart for this calculation.  
  • If they still does not see the proportional relationship have them use another line of the Rate/Distance Chart and complete the calculation.  The answer should be the same using any line on the chart.  
  • The student should complete the assignments using the media of his/her choice.  


Selma to Montgomery collage



The use of the Martin Luther King Videos can make a link to Literacy and also offers more opportunites for the student to graph additional data.  

To connect this lesson to current events the attached link discusses an 860 mile march from Selma, Alabama to Washington DC called "America's Journey for Justice."  
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