Lesson Plans and Worksheets
Browse by Subject
Maya Angelou Teacher Resources
Find Maya Angelou educational ideas and activities
“Still I Rise,” is the focus of a two-day exercise that asks learners to trace the development of the theme of emotional opposites (hopelessness/rising above adversity) by highlighting details in Maya Angelou’s poem. They then craft their own antonym poem of negative and positive emotions (left out/chosen, ugly/beautiful) that shows how they feel. Links to the poem and a short biography of Angelou are included.
Eighth graders respond personally to poetry. In 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.
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.
Learners 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.
Pupils read The Seven Resiliencies, a Maya Angelou poem, and complete writing activities to analyze the concept of resiliency. In this poetry instructional activity, students group in a circle to read the resiliency handout and discuss the text. Pupils 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.
Students study the concepts of autobiography, biography, and fiction as literary genres. They read, study, and analyze Maya Angelou's autobiographical writings in terms of what she intended to accomplish by her writings. They develop and enhance their literary competence by lessons which focus on figurative and symbolic language and on voice or points of view.
It's true: women are phenomenal. Use current works from Maya Angelou and Des'ree to spend some time celebrating women. This would be a great resource to use while studying the evolution of women's rights. As an extension activity, consider adding a written component. Perhaps your students could write about an aspect of themselves they feel is phenomenal.
Students interpret figurative language. In this language lesson, students are read the poem "I Love the Look of Words" by Maya Angelou and are to find examples of hyperbole and personification in the poem. Students then rotate among three small groups to complete activities that practice interpreting figurative language.
Students discuss equality and fairness by reading a Maya Angelo poem. In this U.S. history lesson, students read the poem I Know Why Caged Birds Sing, and discuss how the era it was written in affected the words. Students identify the framework of poetry and categorize each line.