Maya Angelou Teacher Resources
Find Maya Angelou educational ideas and activities
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Maya Angelou: Study and response to "Still I Rise"
“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.
Maya Angelou: Study and Response to "Still I Rise"
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.
Greetings from Maya Angelou
Learners investigate the life and works of Maya Angelou. They complete a Webquest, read poems, listen to a reading by Maya Angelou, answer discussion questions, and write a poem, short story, or essay based on a newspaper article.
Maya Angelou: Study and Response to "Still I Rise"
Eighth graders read biographical information on Maya Angelou and her poem, "Still I Rise." students identify support and elaboration in poem, then respond by either writing a letter to the author or his/her own poem in response.
The Effects of Slavery
The emotional and spiritual oppression of slavery in the African-American experience is the focus of this lesson plan. 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 plan.
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.
“And Still I Rise” Proud Black Women
Students examine the experiences of African American women. In this poetry instructional activity, students use their literary analysis skills to compare the poetry of Maya Angelou to rap music performed by Queen Latifah and Lauryn Hill.
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.
The Power of Words: Lesson 13
Fifth graders explore language arts by reading poetry. In this vocabulary usage activity, 5th graders read a quote from the famous poet Maya Angelou and reflect on the words with their classmates. Students complete a quiz after preparing a vocabulary presentation for their class.
Autobiography: Maya Angelou
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.
In this famous person worksheet, students read a passage about Maya Angelou and then complete a variety of in-class and homework activities to support comprehension, including partner interviews, spelling, cloze, synonym matches, and scrambled sentences.
Still I Rise: Maya Angelou
Students read the poem, Still I rise, by Maya Angelou. They examine how language, poetic devices, and format contribute to the poet's message. They identify poetic devices used in the poem.
The Language of Literature: Voices of Experience - Speaking Out
Students examine the life and works of Maya Angelou. In this langauge arts lesson, students take notes on the life of Maya Angelou and discuss the importance of her meeting with Martin Luther King, Jr. They read and analyze the symbolism in the Caged Bird.
New! Dream in Color
Try out a packet of poetry materials to kick-start a poetry unit. Made up of poetry written by black poets, this resource provides three themed sections (family and friends, sports, and dreams) that can be used however you see fit. Each section includes a main poem, background information about the topic and poem, discussion questions, activities, and additional poems that relate to the theme of the section.
Making Connections: I Know Why Caged Birds Sing
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.
Phenomenal Lesson for the Phenomenal Woman
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 learners could write about an aspect of themselves they feel is phenomenal.
I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings
In this online interactive reading comprehension worksheet, students respond to 25 multiple choice questions about Maya Angelou's I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings. Students may submit their answers to be scored.
I know Why the Caged Bird Sings Quiz
For this online interactive reading comprehension worksheet, students respond to 12 multiple choice questions about Angelou's I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings. Students may submit their answers to be scored.
Using Poetry to End Name Calling
Learners explore language arts by participating in poetry writing activities. In this conflict management lesson, students discuss the emotions that they feel when being teased and discussed. Learners read a Maya Angelou poem titled "Still I Rise" and answer study questions about the content.
Introducing Metaphors Through Poetry
Students define and identify examples of metaphors. They read and analyze the metaphors used in poetry by Langston Hughes, Margaret Atwood, Naomi Shihab Nye, and others. Students create their own metaphors and apply this tool to their own writing projects.