Poet Study: Maya Angelou

by Jimmie Lanley on February 16, 2012

In the past our poetry study has been regular in timing but haphazard in selection. We worked through chapters or randomly chose poems from an anthology. But now that Sprite is in middle school (7th grade), I am moving towards the method Charlotte Mason recommended — studying one poet per term (like we study artists and composers).

maya-angelou-poet study

Poet this term -- Maya Angelou

This term we are studying Maya Angelou.

My selection was not at all scientific. At my local public library, I went to the juvenile poetry section and found all the books they had in the Poetry for Young People series. I laid them on the table and let Sprite choose which one. She chose Maya Angelou.

She is a personal favorite of mine, and although Charlotte Mason never had the benefit of reading Ms. Angelou’s poetry, I feel sure she would approve of modern selections among our classics.

I really like the Poetry for Young People series for poet study because so much of the work has been done for me.

  • There are plenty of poems to get a good feel of the poet’s style.
  • The poems have been specially chosen both to represent the poet and also to suit children.
  • The book is a picture book that is beautifully illustrated.
  • There is a biographical article about the poet.
  • Each poem has a brief introductory remark that helps with understanding it.

One of the advantages of studying a modern poet is the ability to hear and see her read her poetry. I selected two such videos plus two additional biographical videos for Sprite to watch. You can access them at Maya Angelou Poetry Study.

maya-angelou-notebook page

Notebooking for Poet Study

I had Sprite use the author notebooking pages to take notes about Angelou.

I’d love to hear which poet you are currently studying or otherwise how you are incorporating poetry into your homeschool. Leave me a comment.


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