Teacher Guide

I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings Lesson Plan

Introduction to I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings

I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings is the first in a seven-volume series documenting the life and times of Maya Angelou. As the first book in the series, Caged Bird covers Angelou’s formative years, from age 3 to age 16. Though the book is set in the 1930s and 1940s, because Angelou wrote it in 1969 at age 40, the Civil Rights era and its luminaries played highly influential roles in the work’s conception. Many of the themes and ideals common to the Civil Rights Movement, motifs like racism, liberation, identity, personal dignity, etc., form the supporting structure of I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings. In this respect, Angelou’s work fits in with the canon of autobiographies penned by Black...

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