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Maya Angelou Teacher Resources
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The emotional and spiritual oppression of slavery in the African-American experience is the focus of this lesson. Middle schoolers analyze various texts by Frederick Douglass and Maya Angelou related to freedom and oppression. They use textual evidence to write about slavery, oppression, compassion, and nonviolence. Additionally, they perform African-American spirituals and write reflectively for the lesson.
Eighth graders respond personally to poetry. For this poem analysis lesson, 8th graders analyze the biographical poem of Maya Angelou titled "Still I Rise." Students elaborate on the language and theme of the poem as they respond to discussion questions about it. Students then write antonym poems in response to Angelou's poem.
Meant for use with Maya Angelou's first autobiographical volume I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings, the materials here are designed for a homeschool setting, but they'd suit any classroom or text. Graphic organizers, chapter summary guides, vocabulary practice, response to literature ideas, writing prompts, a plot flow chart, character map, and reading schedules are provided.
Students study the meaning of the term 'Jim Crow'. They examine how this term originated, when it was used, and how it served its purpose? They read two short biographies of Maya Angelou and James Comer discover that both authors had strong family support systems which was beneficial for survival.
Students read The Seven Resiliencies, a Maya Angelou poem, and complete writing activities to analyze the concept of resiliency. In this poetry lesson, students group in a circle to read the resiliency handout and discuss the text. Students brainstorm examples of people who were resilient in history and read "Still I Rise" by Angelou. Students discuss the two texts together and write a response as a formal paper or journal entry.
“Champion of the World,” a chapter from Maya Angelou’s I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings, is the subject of a study guide that asks readers to consider the author’s purpose, the function of the chapter in the entire narrative, and Angelou’s use of hyperbole and irony in her descriptions. Beware the typo in the title.