Answer key: Maya Angelou

Lesson Plan: Maya Angelou: A Legend Leaves Us

II. While Reading Tasks

Word Inference

  1. revered  |riˈvi(ə)r| verb [ with obj. ] feel deep respect or admiration for (something): Cézanne’s still lifes were revered by his contemporaries.
  2. eludes  |iˈlo͞od| verb [ with obj. ] (of an achievement, or something desired or pursued) fail to be attained by (someone): sleep still eluded her.
  3. honorary  y |ˈänəˌrerē| adjective-conferred as an honor, without the usual requirements or functions: an honorary doctorate
  4. segregated |ˈsegriˌgāt|  verb [ with obj. ] (usu. be segregated) separate or divide (people, activities, or institutions) along racial, sexual, or religious lines: blacks were segregated in churches, schools, and colleges | (as adj. segregated)
  5.   inaugurated rate |inˈôg(y)əˌrāt|  verb [ with obj. ]admit (someone) formally to public office: the new president will be inaugurated on January 20.
  6. incredibly |inˈkredəblē| adverb [ as submodifier ] to a great degree; extremely or unusually: Michele was incredibly brave.
  7. decades |ˈdekād| noun-a period of ten years: he taught at the university for nearly a decade.
  8. crescendo |krəˈSHendō| noun ( pl. crescendos or crescendi |-dē| the loudest point reached in a gradually increasing sound: Deborah’s voice was rising to a crescendo .
  9. proud  |proud| adjective- feeling deep pleasure or satisfaction as a result of one’s own achievements, qualities, or possessions or those of someone with whom one is closely associated: a proud grandma of three boys | she got nine As and he was so proud of her.
  10. nominated verb |ˈnäməˌnāt| [ with obj. ] propose or formally enter as a candidate for election or for an honor or award: the film was nominated for several Oscars.

Source: New Oxford American Dictionary

Reading Comprehension


Correct order of words:

dance and drama, African-American female, high school, birth, waited tables, acquired, passion,  the mid-1950s, 1958,  Harlem Writers Guild, Dr. Angelou, 30 honorary degrees, six languages, 1969, autobiographical.

Completed Paragraphs:

“Angelou spent her early years studying dance and drama in San Francisco but dropped out at age 14, instead becoming the city’s first African-American female cable car conductor.

Angelou later returned to high school to finish her diploma and gave birth a few weeks after graduation. 

While the 17-year-old single mother waited tables to support her son, she acquired a passion for music and dance, and toured Europe in the mid-1950s in the opera production “Porgy and Bess.” In 1957, she recorded her first album, “Miss Calypso.”

In 1958, Angelou become a part of the Harlem Writers Guild in New York and played a queen in “The Blacks,” an off-Broadway production by French dramatist Jean Genet.

Affectionately referred to as Dr. Angelou, the professor never went to college. She has more than 30 honorary degrees and taught American studies for years at Wake Forest University in Winston-Salem.

“I created myself,” she has said. “I have taught myself so much.”

Angelou spoke at least six languages and worked at as a newspaper editor in Egypt and Ghana. It was during that time that she wrote “I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings,” published in 1969, the first in a series of autobiographical books.”

 Grammar Focus

Structure and Usage

I. 2-at

Maya Angelou died at her home in North Carolina.

II. 1-spent

Angelou spent her early years studying dance and drama.

III. 1-more

She has more than 30 honorary degrees.

IV. Listening Activity   

Video Clip:  The Revelation That Changed Dr. Maya Angelou’s Life – Super Soul Sunday – Oprah Winfrey Network

 While Listening Activities

  1. F- Oprah asked Maya Angelou, “What words do you turn to for comfort?”
  2. F-  Maya Angelou responded with the word “Love.”
  3. F- Oprah asked Maya Angelou, “Where do you go for solace or for comfort?”
  4. F- Maya Angelou responded, “I’m a student of Unity Church.”
  5. T- Maya first discovered the Unity Church in her 20s.
  6. F- Her voice coach and mentor Fred Wilkerson invited her to a service.
  7. T- Founded in 1889, the Unity Church is a Christian movement  that emphasizes  affirmative prayer and education as a path to spirituality.
  8. T- Maya took an online course in Unity.
  9. F- Maya didn’t want to become a member but to understand the church more deeply.
  10. T- The line from the book Maya mentions is “God loves me”.