English Lesson on Maya Angelou

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THE LESSON ON MAYA ANGELOU

Try the online quiz, reading, listening, and activities on grammar, spelling and vocabulary for this lesson on Maya Angelou. Click on the links above or see the activities below this article:


READ

Maya Angelou is part of the fabric of modern America. She has told her story of being a key part of the civil rights movement through poetry, novels and film. She is best known for her six autobiographies, most notably ‘I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings’. In 1993, President Bill Clinton asked her to recite one of her poems at his inauguration.

Angelou was born in Missouri in 1928 into a deeply segregated society. Her parent’s divorce meant she was sent back and forth between her mother and grandmother. Her mother’s boyfriend raped her when she was eight. His later murder left Angelou mute for five years. She studied drama and literature at school, and three weeks after graduating, gave birth to her son.

Angelou struggled to survive for many years. She experienced poverty, crime, prostitution and her son being kidnapped. She won a scholarship to study dance. Her career as a singer and dancer took off. She moved to New York and acted in Broadway plays. She also met Martin Luther King Jr. and Malcolm X and became active in the civil rights movement.

Angelou became, and is to this day, a prolific writer. She also toured the USA giving lectures, appeared in TV series and wrote songs. Her screenplay, ‘Georgia, Georgia’ was the first written by a black woman to be made into a movie. Angelou has been highly honored for her significant cultural contributions and has over 30 honorary degrees. She is an American legend.

249 words

Sources: http://www.wikipedia.org/ and assorted biographies.

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SYNONYM MATCH

Match the words from the article on the left with their synonyms on the right. Are your answers the same as other students’?

Paragraphs 1 and 2
 

 

 

1.

key

a.

say aloud

2

movement

b.

divided

3.

recite

c.

political group

4.

segregated

d.

killing

5.

back and forth

e.

important

6.

murder

f.

to and fro


Paragraphs 3 and 4
 

 

 

7.

survive

g.

icon

8.

acted

h.

productive

9.

took off

i.

get by

10.

prolific

j.

extraordinary

11

significant

k

became successful

12

legend

l

performed

PHRASE MATCH

Match the following phrases from the article:

1.

Maya Angelou is part of the fabric

a.

one of her poems

2

her story of being a key part of

b.

cultural contributions

3.

Bill Clinton asked her to recite

c.

survive for many years

4.

a deeply segregated

d.

day, a prolific writer

5.

she was sent back

e.

took off

6.

Angelou struggled to

f.

of modern America

7.

Her career as a singer and dancer

g.

society

8.

Angelou became, and is to this

h.

and forth

9.

the first written by a black woman

i.

the civil rights movement

10.

highly honored for her significant

j.

to be made into a movie

LISTENING GAP FILL

Maya Angelou is part of the _______________ America. She has told her story of being a _______________ civil rights movement through poetry, novels and film. She is best known for her six autobiographies, _______________  ‘I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings’. In 1993, President Bill Clinton asked her _______________ her poems at his inauguration.

Angelou was born in Missouri in 1928 into a _______________ society. Her parent’s divorce meant she was _______________ between her mother and grandmother. Her mother’s boyfriend raped her when she was eight. His _______________ Angelou mute for five years. She studied drama and literature at school, and three weeks after graduating, _______________ son.

Angelou struggled _______________ many years. She experienced poverty, crime, prostitution _______________ kidnapped. She won a scholarship to study dance. Her career as a singer and _______________. She moved to New York and acted in Broadway plays. She also met Martin Luther King Jr. and Malcolm X and _______________ the civil rights movement.

Angelou became, _______________, a prolific writer. She also toured the USA _______________, appeared in TV series and wrote songs. Her screenplay, ‘Georgia, Georgia’ was _________________ a black woman to be made into a movie. Angelou has _________________ for her significant cultural contributions and has over 30 honorary degrees. She is an American legend.

CHOOSE THE CORRECT WORD

Delete the wrong word in each of the pairs in italics.

Maya Angelou is part of the cloth / fabric of modern America. She has told her story of being a key / lock part of the civil rights movement through poetry, novels and film. She is best known for her six autobiographies, most notes / notably ‘I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings’. In 1993, President Bill Clinton asked her to recite one of her poetry / poems at his inauguration.

Angelou was born in Missouri in 1928 into a deeply / deepness segregated society. Her parent’s divorce meant / mean she was sent back and for / forth between her mother and grandmother. Her mother’s boyfriend raped her when she was eight. His later murder right / left Angelou mute for five years. She studied drama and literature at school, and three weeks after graduating, gave birth to her son.

Angelou struggled for / to survive for many years. She experienced poverty, criminal / crime, prostitution and her son being kidnapped. She won a scholarship to study dance. Her career as / was a singer and dancer took off. She moved to New York and acted in Broadway plays. She also met Martin Luther King Jr. and Malcolm X and became active / actively in the civil rights movement.

Angelou became, and is to then / this day, a prolific writer. She also toured / touring the USA giving lectures, appeared in TV series and wrote songs. Her screenplay, ‘Georgia, Georgia’ was the first written / wrote by a black woman to be made into a movie. Angelou has been highly honored for / to her significant cultural contributions and has over 30 honorary degrees. She is an American legend.

SPELLING

The underlined, jumbled words are from the text. Spell them correctly.

Paragraph 1
 

1.

part of the rbcifa of modern America

2.

civil rthisg movement

3.

through torpye, novels and film

4.

President Bill Clinton asked her to ieertc one of her poems


Paragraph 2
 

5.

a ypedle segregated society

6.

Her parent’s idoverc

7.

She studied drama and ratiturele

8.

gave rtbih to her son


Paragraph 3
 

9.

Angelou struggled to rvseiuv

10.

She experienced teyovrp, crime, prostitution…

11.

Her ecerra as a singer and dancer took off

12.

acted in Broadway aylps


Paragraph 4
 

13.

a prolific rterwi

14.

the first tnrtiwe by a black woman

15.

Angelou has been hghily honored

16.

She is an American dengle

PUT THE TEXT BACK TOGETHER

Number these lines in the correct order.

(    )

 

contributions and has over 30 honorary degrees. She is an American legend.

(    )

 

a movie. Angelou has been highly honored for her significant cultural

(    )

 

eight. His later murder left Angelou mute for five years. She studied drama and literature at

(    )

 

became active in the civil rights movement.

(    )

 

movement through poetry, novels and film. She is best known for her six autobiographies, most notably ‘I Know Why

( 1 )

 

Maya Angelou is part of the fabric of modern America. She has told her story of being a key part of the civil rights

(    )

 

the Caged Bird Sings’. In 1993, President Bill Clinton asked her to recite one of her poems at his inauguration.

(    )

 

Angelou struggled to survive for many years. She experienced poverty, crime, prostitution and her son being

(    )

 

series and wrote songs. Her screenplay, ‘Georgia, Georgia’ was the first written by a black woman to be made into

(    )

 

forth between her mother and grandmother. Her mother’s boyfriend raped her when she was

(    )

 

school, and three weeks after graduating, gave birth to her son.

(    )

 

kidnapped. She won a scholarship to study dance. Her career as a singer and dancer took off. She moved to New York

(    )

 

Angelou was born in Missouri in 1928 into a deeply segregated society. Her parent’s divorce meant she was sent back and

(    )

 

and acted in Broadway plays. She also met Martin Luther King Jr. and Malcolm X and

(    )

 

Angelou became, and is to this day, a prolific writer. She also toured the USA giving lectures, appeared in TV

SCRAMBLED SENTENCES

With your partner, put the words back into the correct order.

1.

part   of   the   fabric   of   modern   America

2.

a   key   part   of   the   civil   rights   movement

3.

Bill   Clinton   asked   her   to   recite   one   of   her   poems

4.

she   was   sent   back   and   forth

5.

three   weeks   after   graduating   gave   birth   to   her   son

6.

Angelou   struggled   to   survive   for   many   years

7.

Her   career   as   a   singer   and   dancer   took   off

8.

She   moved   to   New   York   and   acted   in   Broadway   plays

9.

highly   honored   for   her   significant   cultural   contributions

10.

She   is   an   American   legend

MAYA ANGELOU DISCUSSION

STUDENT A’s QUESTIONS (Do not show these to student B)

1.

What do you know about Maya Angelou?

2.

Would you like to have met Maya Angelou?

3.

What would you like to know about Maya Angelou and why?

4.

___________________________________________________

5.

___________________________________________________

6.

___________________________________________________

7.

___________________________________________________

8.

___________________________________________________

------------------------------------

STUDENT B’s QUESTIONS (Do not show these to student A)

1.

What did you learn from this text about Maya Angelou?

2.

What questions would you like to have asked Maya Angelou?

3.

What would her answers have been to those questions?

4.

___________________________________________________

5.

___________________________________________________

6.

___________________________________________________

7.

___________________________________________________

8.

___________________________________________________

MAYA ANGELOU SURVEY

Write five questions about Maya Angelou in the table. Do this in pairs/groups. Each student must write the questions on his / her own paper.

Without your partner, interview other students. Write down their answers.

 

STUDENT 1

_____________

STUDENT 2

_____________

STUDENT 3

_____________

Q.1.

 

 

 

 

Q.2.

 

 

 

 

Q.3.

 

 

 

 

Q.4.

 

 

 

 

Q.5.

 

 

 

 

Return to your original partner(s) and share and talk about what you found out.  Make mini-presentations to other groups on your findings.

WRITING

Write about Maya Angelou for 10 minutes. Show your partner your paper. Correct each other’s work.

______________________________________________________________________________

______________________________________________________________________________

______________________________________________________________________________

______________________________________________________________________________

______________________________________________________________________________

______________________________________________________________________________

______________________________________________________________________________

______________________________________________________________________________

______________________________________________________________________________

______________________________________________________________________________

______________________________________________________________________________

______________________________________________________________________________

______________________________________________________________________________

______________________________________________________________________________

______________________________________________________________________________

______________________________________________________________________________

______________________________________________________________________________

______________________________________________________________________________

______________________________________________________________________________

______________________________________________________________________________

______________________________________________________________________________

HOMEWORK

1. VOCABULARY EXTENSION: Choose several of the words from the text. Use a dictionary or Google’s search field (or another search engine) to build up more associations / collocations of each word.

2. INTERNET: Search the Internet and find more information about Maya Angelou. Talk about what you discover with your partner(s) in the next lesson.

3. MAYA ANGELOU POSTER: Make a poster showing the different stages of the life of Maya Angelou. Show your poster to your classmates in the next lesson. Did you all find out similar things?

4. MAGAZINE ARTICLE: Write a magazine article about Maya Angelou. Include an imaginary interview with her. Write about what she did every day and what she thought about.

Read what you wrote to your classmates in the next lesson. Give each other feedback on your articles.

5. LETTER: Write a letter to Maya Angelou. Ask her three questions about her life. Tell her how important she is in today’s world and how she is missed. Read your letter to your partner(s) in your next lesson. Your “Maya Angelou expert” partner(s) will try and answer your questions.

ANSWERS

SYNONYM MATCH:

Paragraphs 1 and 2
 

 

 

1.

key

a.

important

2

movement

b.

political group

3.

recite

c.

say aloud

4.

segregated

d.

divided

5.

back and forth

e.

to and fro

6.

murder

f.

killing


Paragraphs 3 and 4
 

 

 

7.

survive

g.

get by

8.

acted

h.

performed

9.

took off

i.

became successful

10.

prolific

j.

productive

11

significant

k

extraordinary

12

legend

l

icon

PHRASE MATCH:

1.

Maya Angelou is part of the fabric

a.

of modern America

2

her story of being a key part of

b.

the civil rights movement

3.

Bill Clinton asked her to recite

c.

one of her poems

4.

a deeply segregated

d.

society

5.

she was sent back

e.

and forth

6.

Angelou struggled to

f.

survive for many years

7.

Her career as a singer and dancer

g.

took off

8.

Angelou became, and is to this

h.

day, a prolific writer

9.

the first written by a black woman

i.

to be made into a movie

10.

highly honored for her significant

j.

cultural contributions

ALL OTHER EXERCISES:

Look at the text in "THE READING / TAPESCRIPT" section at the top of this page.

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