Does simply ending an injustice result in justice, or does achieving true justice require something more?
DAY 1 - SEED 1
DAY 2–3 - SEED 2
DAY 4–5 - SEED 3
DAY 6–8 - PLAN 1
DAY 9 - SEED 4
DAY 10 - SEED 5
DAY 11 - SEED 6
DAY 12–17 - SEED 7
DAY 18–20 - SEED 8
DAY 21–23 - SEED 9
DAY 24–25 - PLAN 2
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Lesson seeds are ideas that can be used to build a lesson aligned to the CCSS. Lesson seeds are not meant to be all-inclusive, nor are they substitutes for instruction. When developing lessons from these seeds,
teachers must consider the needs of all learners. It is also important to build checkpoints into the lessons where appropriate formative assessment will inform a teachers instructional pacing and delivery.
This lesson models the study of language by using the title of Maya Angelou's poem "Still I Rise." Students analyze the title from a linguistic perspective, considering the meaning, position, form, and function of the words. Then, after reading and analyzing the entire poem, students return to the title to make connections and draw conclusions about theme, style, and tone.
*IMPORTANT NOTE: Consider the need for Accessible Instructional Materials (AIM) and/or for captioned/described video when selecting texts, novels, video and/or other media for this unit. See "Sources for Accessible Media" for suggestions on Maryland Learning Links: http://marylandlearninglinks.org.
**IMPORTANT NOTE: The "Lesson Procedure" section of this plan is written to the student, an approach that may be unfamiliar to some teachers. Teachers should study the "Lesson Procedure" carefully so that their planning and preparation enables students to demonstrate the level of independence and mastery expected in the lesson.
NOTE: This lesson can serve as a model for how to approach the other possible poems for this portion of the unit.
The teacher will need to decide how much time to devote to the poems and whether students will read and analyze
all of them or a portion of them.
Each student needs a copy of the poem, an organizer for note taking, and the set of text-dependent questions for a close reading of the poem.
Using a minimum of 3 and a maximum of 7 words, compose the title of your autobiography. Share and explain your title with a partner.
Listen as your teacher shares the title of his or her autobiography. Participate in a class discussion as your teacher models an analysis of the language in the title of his or her autobiography. Why are the reasons for the specific words chosen? Could other words have been used? If so, how would those other word choices affect the meaning of the title? Could the words have been arranged in a different way? What would be the effect of an alternate arrangement of the words? Take notes as necessary.
Now, reflect individually on the following questions about the title of your autobiography: Why did you choose the specific words you used in your title? Could you have used other words or rearranged the words you used in a different way? If so, how would using different words or a different arrangement of the same words have affected the meaning of your title? Share your answers to these questions with a partner and discuss.
Listen carefully as your teacher guides several students through a sharing of their titles, discussing the specific choice and placement of words. Reflect again on your own title and revise, per your preference, for clarity, precision, tone, and style.
Listen as your teacher shares the title of Maya Angelou's poem "Still I Rise." In a small group, assume roles and responsibilities to ensure efficient and effective operation and then analyze the words in the title according to their meaning, position, form, and function. Use resources as necessary to help with parts of speech, etc. Complete the organizer as your group discusses.
Listen, take notes, and participate as your teacher guides the class in an analysis of the title "Still I Rise." Modify your notes on the organizer as needed.
Listen as your teacher plays a video of Maya Angelou reading aloud her poem "Still I Rise." http://www.teachertube.com/viewVideo.php?video_id=89805&title=Maya_Angelou_Delivers_Still_I_Rise_Poem
Read the poem a second time silently, paying close attention to the tone and imagery of the poem.
Q1: Describe the speaker in lines 1-4 of the poem? What specific language supports your description?
The speaker seems fiercely determined, almost confrontational. TEXT EVIDENCE: Phrases like "bitter, twisted lies," "trod me in the very dirt," and "I'll rise" contribute to that tone.
Q2: Why does the poet use the image of dust in line 4? How does this image contribute to the tone of lines 1-4?
When dust rises from the ground, it floats everywhere. There is nothing anyone can do to stop it. Trying to grind something into the dirt only causes dust. The harder ones grinds, the more dust there is. TEXT EVIDENCE: The speaker says that people can lie about her and try to diminish her, but like dust, she will rise.
Q3: What other images in the poem contribute to the poem's tone? Explain the effect of each image.
TEXT EVIDENCE: "'Cause I walk like I've got oil wells/Pumping in my living room," "'Cause I laugh like I've got gold mines/
Diggin' in my own back yard," "That I dance like I've got diamonds/At the meeting of my thighs?" The effect of these images is to paint the picture of a defiant narrator who is confident in her own worth and intent on being her own person. Oil wells, gold, and diamonds are all images that connote wealth and value. The speaker uses these references to proclaim her own self-awareness and determination not to allow outside forces to diminish her self-esteem.
Q4: The speaker poses 7 questions in the poem. What is the purpose/effect of these questions?
The questions are almost presumptuous since the speaker uses them to project her notion of what the reader is thinking. The questions are rhetorical in nature b/c the speaker doesn't really expect an answer; rather, she has already formulated a response herself, almost putting words in the reader's mouth as it were. TEXT EVIDENCE: In lines 5 and 6, the speaker questions the reader's mood and then offers her own explanation for the upset and gloom she sees; in lines 13 and 14, the speaker asks if the reader would prefer to see that speaker feeling defeated and depressed; in line 15, the speaker asks whether the reader is offended by her "haughtiness," in lines 23 and 26, she questions whether the speaker is upset by the sexy way in which she is dancing. In all cases, the speaker asks questions for which she implies that she already knows the answer.
Q5: What is the effect of the repetition in the poem?
First, the speaker directly addresses the reader/audience with the word "you" and repeats that word throughout the poem. Using the second person pronoun makes the poem seem almost like a personal confrontation between the speaker and the reader/audience, and repeating "you" as many times as the speaker does suggests the depth of the speaker's feelings. The speaker also repeats the word "I" and the phrase "Still I Rise." With the former, the speaker sharpens the contrast between herself and the reader and reinforces the tone of the poem. By the final stanza, the reader has all but disappeared, leaving only the speaker and the words, "I rise."
Q5: Who is the audience (the reader) for this poem? How does the speaker portray this audience?
The audience (reader) is someone, perhaps a group, with whom the speaker feels a contentious relationship and who has evidently demeaned the speaker in the past. TEXT EVIDENCE: Accusatory language: "bitter, twisted lies;" "trod me in the dirt;" "want to see me broken;" "shoot me with your words;" "cut me with your eyes;" "kill me with your hatefulness"
With your partner, write a theme statement for "Still I Rise."
Share your responses to the questions and your theme statement with a small-group and revise per the group discussion. Then participate in a class analysis of the poem and theme statements. Modify your note taking organizer per the class discussion.
On an exit slip, respond to the following prompt:
Briefly explain the connection between the language and syntax of the title and the theme and style of the poem "Still I Rise."
Submit your exit slip to your teacher for feedback.
Homework: Revisit the title of your autobiography. Using what you've discovered about how Maya Angelou used the title of "Still I Rise" to anticipate her approach to the poem, specifically her tone, explain what you think would be the tone of a poem you might write with that title. Be sure to use examples from "Still I Rise" to support your ideas. Submit your response to your teacher at the beginning of tomorrow's class.
*Note: Text-dependent questions often require additional probing and follow up on the part of the teacher. The questions should not be interpreted as a lock-step script but used to guide students through a close reading and analysis.
Other questions the teacher may wish to use during the close reading of the poem:
What is the effect of the parallel structure and the repetition in the poem?
How does the poet use nature imagery in the poem? (e.g., dust, moons, suns, tides, ocean, nights of terror and fear, daybreak)
What historic or societal allusions does the poet use? To what effect?
In your journal, reflect on the connections between this poem and the unit's essential question and your selected quotation. Submit your journal to your teacher for feedback.
Download Still I Rise Resource Sheet
Speaking & Listening