Maya Angelou: And Still I Rise


  • Maya Angelou: And Still I Rise | The Impact of "I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings"

    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.

    Grades: 8-12
  • Maya Angelou: And Still I Rise | Memory and Setting in "I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings"

    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.

    Grades: 7-12
  • Maya Angelou: And Still I Rise | "Caged Bird"

    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.

    Grades: 7-12
  • Maya Angelou: And Still I Rise | Maya Angelou and the 1993 Inaugural Poem: “On the Pulse of Morning”

    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.

    Grades: 6-12
  • Maya Angelou: And Still I Rise | The Power of Words

    Explore the power of words in this media gallery from American Masters | Maya Angelou: And Still I Rise. Using video, discussion questions, and teaching tips, students assess the persuasiveness of Maya Angelou’s argument that words have power. Students also perform a tableau representing a tense and intimate moment between Angelou and Tupac Shakur.

    Grades: 8-12
  • Maya Angelou: And Still I Rise | Harlem Writers Guild

    Explore the Harlem Writers Guild, the oldest African American writers association in the world, in this video from American Masters | Maya Angelou: And Still I Rise. Teaching tips suggest asking students to research the Harlem Writers Guild and to think about writing as part of a community.

    Grades: 6-12
  • Maya Angelou: And Still I Rise | Maya and Malcolm

    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.

    Grades: 7-12
  • Maya Angelou: And Still I Rise | You Are Enough

    Examine the 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.

    Grades: 7-12

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