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Elements of Poetry
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Educational Use
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In this interactive lesson, discover how literary techniques like figurative language, imagery, and symbolism contribute to the overall meaning of a poem. Explore how a poet establishes and builds on a theme. Learn how to tell the difference between tone and mood. Through a close reading of Maya Angelou’s famous poem “Caged Bird” (1983), practice unpacking the language of poetry while learning about some of the various tools a writer can utilize when writing a poem.

This student-directed lesson can be completed online. Students will require a login if the instructor desires that they save their work to the platform. You will find detailed instructions on how to set up and manage accounts, class rosters, and assignments in the Help section of the interactive lesson plan.

Subject:
Arts and Humanities
English Language Arts
Literature
Material Type:
Interactive
Lesson
Provider:
PBS LearningMedia
Author:
American Masters
PBS
Date Added:
01/31/2023
I Know Why The Caged Bird Sings Unit Plan
Conditional Remix & Share Permitted
CC BY-NC
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This is a unit plan frame for the text I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings, and "Letters from a Birmingham Jail." It is designed to address the Common Core standards grade band 11-12 and inlcudes suggested activities, supplemental texts, and assessment ideas.

Subject:
Arts and Humanities
Social Science
Material Type:
Assessment
Syllabus
Unit of Study
Date Added:
01/28/2016
I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings
Conditional Remix & Share Permitted
CC BY-NC-SA
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This lesson introduces Maya Angelou's I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings for Storm Lake High School's Diverse Literature course. It gives background on the author, setting, and the book itself as well as introducing students to the window-mirror concept in making connections with literature.

Subject:
Arts and Humanities
English Language Arts
Literature
Reading Literature
Material Type:
Lesson
Reading
Author:
Charles Carter
Date Added:
12/20/2019
The Impact of "I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings"
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Educational Use
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In this video from American Masters | Maya Angelou: And Still I Rise, learn about the lasting impact of I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings and why it’s such an important piece of American literature. Students answer discussion questions, analyze text from I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings and write a short essay to gain a deeper understanding of Angelou’s work and why it’s so impactful.

Subject:
Arts and Humanities
English Language Arts
Literature
Material Type:
Lesson
Provider:
PBS LearningMedia
Author:
American Masters
PBS Learning Media
Date Added:
01/31/2023
Maya Angelou
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Educational Use
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Poet, dancer, singer, activist, and scholar, Maya Angelou is a world-famous author. She is best known for her unique and pioneering autobiographical writing style.

This resource is from a collection of biographies of famous women. It is provided by the National Women's History Museum, and may include links to supplemental materials including lesson plans about the subject and related topics, links to related biographies, and "works cited" pages. The biographies are sponsored by Susan D. Whiting.

Subject:
Gender and Sexuality Studies
History
Social Science
Material Type:
Reading
Provider:
National Women's History Museum
Provider Set:
Biographies
Author:
National Women's History Museum
Date Added:
03/01/2023
Maya Angelou: And Still I Rise - "Caged Bird"
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Educational Use
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In this video from American Masters | Maya Angelou: And Still I Rise, students analyze an excerpt of the poem Caged Bird. Through discussion questions and a short activity, students analyze the poem by doing a close read of the text and examine the literary techniques used.

Subject:
Arts and Humanities
English Language Arts
Literature
Material Type:
Lesson
Primary Source
Provider:
PBS LearningMedia
Author:
American Masters
PBS Learning Media
Date Added:
01/31/2023
Maya Angelou: And Still I Rise - Maya and Malcolm
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Educational Use
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Learn about the connection between Maya Angelou and Malcolm X, and their work in Ghana, in this video from American Masters | Maya Angelou: And Still I Rise.

Sensitive: This resource contains material that may be sensitive for some students. Teachers should exercise discretion in evaluating whether this resource is suitable for their class.

Subject:
Arts and Humanities
English Language Arts
History
Literature
U.S. History
Material Type:
Primary Source
Provider:
PBS LearningMedia
Author:
American Masters
PBS Learning Media
Date Added:
01/31/2023
Maya Angelou: And Still I Rise - Memory and Setting in "I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings"
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Educational Use
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Explore how growing up in the South during the Jim Crow Era influenced Maya Angelou’s writing in this video from American Masters | Maya Angelou: And Still I Rise. The power of memory and the importance of setting inform both the video and discussion questions as students are asked to consider why Maya Angelou chose to write about her own life in her famous autobiography, I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings.

Subject:
Arts and Humanities
History
Literature
U.S. History
Material Type:
Lesson
Primary Source
Provider:
PBS LearningMedia
Author:
American Masters
PBS Learning Media
Date Added:
01/31/2023
Maya Angelou: And Still I Rise - You Are Enough
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Educational Use
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Examine Maya Angelou’s impact on those who knew her personally in this video from American Masters | Maya Angelou: And Still I Rise. Utilizing video, discussion questions and teaching tips, students analyze and reflect on Angelou’s mentors in I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings.

Sensitive: This resource contains material that may be sensitive for some students. Teachers should exercise discretion in evaluating whether this resource is suitable for their class.

Subject:
Arts and Humanities
English Language Arts
History
Literature
U.S. History
Material Type:
Primary Source
Provider:
PBS LearningMedia
Author:
American Masters
PBS Learning Media
Date Added:
01/31/2023
Maya Angelou and the 1993 Inaugural Poem: “On the Pulse of Morning”
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In 1993, President Bill Clinton asked Maya Angelou to write a poem for his inauguration. After Clinton’s inaugural address, Maya Angelou recited her original poem “On the Pulse of Morning.” As the second poet in history to read a poem at a presidential inauguration—Robert Frost was the first when he recited a poem at John F. Kennedy’s inauguration in 1961—Angelou captured the attention of the nation. President Clinton called her poem “an eternal gift to America.” This clip from American Masters | Maya Angelou: And Still I Rise features part of her performance at the inauguration and provides background about Clinton’s reasons for asking her, her response, and how the poem was received by the public.

In this resource, students explore the role of poetry in American politics, compare Angelou and Frost, and consider how Angelou’s poem reflects the challenges and concerns of the time. Discussion questions, teaching tips, and a student handout push students to engage with Angelou’s words and to think critically about her famous work.

Subject:
Arts and Humanities
English Language Arts
History
Literature
U.S. History
Material Type:
Primary Source
Provider:
PBS LearningMedia
Author:
American Masters
PBS Learning Media
Date Added:
01/31/2023
Poetry Unit
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CC BY-NC-SA
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This resource provides lecture notes and writing assignments for the study of poetry. While specific poems are presented here, these notes and assignments can be adapted and applied to practically any thematic group of poems.  The unit contains several modules. The first posits the work of African American poet Langston Hughes as poems that establish a legacy of oratorical poems addressing social issues faced not only by African Americans, but by any and all Americans, especially the historically disenfranchised.  The unit explores poems in Hughes' legacy, focusing on three poems by African American poets Maya Angelou, Elizabeth Alexander, and Amanda Gorman, who composed U.S. presidential inaugural poems. The second module explores nature poetry. Students read and analyze poems that explore, ponder and sometimes celebrate the relationship between human beings and nature. Ultimately, students compose poetry explication essays. The third module explores the book-length prose poem "I Remember" (Joe Brainard), teaching students to locate and make use of peer-reviewed articles.  Additionally, students write their own "I Remember" poems. Included are introductory lecture, discussion , short writing, explication , and several other assignments. Unless otherwise noted, the materials in this unit are licensed under CC BY-NC-SA.

Subject:
Arts and Humanities
Composition and Rhetoric
English Language Arts
Literature
Reading Literature
Material Type:
Activity/Lab
Homework/Assignment
Lesson
Module
Unit of Study
Author:
Nina Adel
Judith Westley
Daniel Kelley
Graham Harkness
Date Added:
07/22/2021
The Poetry of Maya Angelou
Unrestricted Use
CC BY
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This collection uses primary sources to explore the poetry of Maya Angelou. Digital Public Library of America Primary Source Sets are designed to help students develop their critical thinking skills and draw diverse material from libraries, archives, and museums across the United States. Each set includes an overview, ten to fifteen primary sources, links to related resources, and a teaching guide. These sets were created and reviewed by the teachers on the DPLA's Education Advisory Committee.

Subject:
Arts and Humanities
Ethnic Studies
Gender and Sexuality Studies
Literature
Social Science
Material Type:
Primary Source
Provider:
Digital Public Library of America
Provider Set:
Primary Source Sets
Author:
Susan Ketcham
Date Added:
04/11/2016