ALEX Learning Activity


Comparing and Contrasting Mediums of Caged Bird by Maya Angelou

A Learning Activity is a strategy a teacher chooses to actively engage students in learning a concept or skill using a digital tool/resource.

You may save this Learning Activity to your hard drive as an .html file by selecting “File”,then “Save As” from your browser’s pull down menu. The file name extension must be .html.
  This learning activity provided by:  
Author: Monique Chatman
System:Talladega County
School:Talladega County Board Of Education
  General Activity Information  
Activity ID: 2359
Comparing and Contrasting Mediums of Caged Bird by Maya Angelou
Digital Tool/Resource:
YouTube: Caged Bird by Maya Angelou
Web Address – URL:

Students will explore three mediums of the famous poem, "Caged Bird"  by Maya Angelou. Students will read, listen to audio, and a watch a video of the poem and compare and contrast the differences using a graphic organizer.

This activity was created as a result of the ALEX  Resource Development Summit.

  Associated Standards and Objectives  
Content Standard(s):
English Language Arts
ELA2015 (2015)
Grade: 6
7 ) Compare and contrast the experience of reading a story, drama, or poem to listening to or viewing an audio, video, or live version of the text, including contrasting what they "see" and "hear" when reading the text to what they perceive when they listen or watch. [RL.6.7]

English Language Arts
ELA2015 (2015)
Grade: 6
29 ) Draw evidence from literary or informational texts to support analysis, reflection, and research. [W.6.9]

a. Apply Grade 6 Reading standards to literature (e.g., "Compare and contrast texts in different forms or genres [e.g., stories and poems; historical novels and fantasy stories] in terms of their approaches to similar themes and topics"). [W.6.9a]

b. Apply Grade 6 Reading standards to literary nonfiction (e.g., "Trace and evaluate the argument and specific claims in a text, distinguishing claims that are supported by reasons and evidence from claims that are not"). [W.6.9b]

Alabama Alternate Achievement Standards
AAS Standard:
ELA.AAS.6.29- Draw evidence from a literary or informational text to support a research topic.

English Language Arts
ELA2015 (2015)
Grade: 7
7 ) Compare and contrast a written story, drama, or poem to its audio, filmed, staged, or multimedia version, analyzing the effects of techniques unique to each medium (e.g., lighting, sound, color, or camera focus and angles in a film). [RL.7.7]

Learning Objectives:

I can...

  • compare and contrast a text to an audio, video, or multimedia version of the text.

  • analyze how the delivery of a speech affects the impact of the words.
  Strategies, Preparations and Variations  

  1. Give each student the graphic organizer.

  2. Provide a digital or printed copy of the poem, "Caged Bird" by Maya Angelou.

  3. Students will read the poem independently or with a partner.

  4. Students will take notes in the section labeled, "Reading", on the graphic organizer.

  5. Students will listen to the audio of "Caged Bird". The link is a video, but students should not see any visuals of the speaker for this part of the activity. (The teacher can play this on their phones or on an interactive panel.)

  6. Students will record their notes on the section labeled, "Audio".

  7. Students will watch and listen to the Maya Angelou recite "Caged Bird".

  8. Students will record notes in the "Video" section and complete the self-assessment.

Assessment Strategies:

A simple checklist should provide the teacher with insight as to whether or not students have met, exceeded, or needs extra help in mastering the standards. The teacher should also look at the graphic organizer for accuracy and completion.

Possible Checklist for assessment. 

Advanced Preparation:

  1. Print copies of the poem, "Caged Bird" by Maya Angelou.

  2. Provide students with a digital or printed copy of the graphic organizer.

  3. You can share the different mediums whole class or individually via Google Classroom or email. If students have access to iPads, you can create QR codes to each of the mediums.

    1. How to create a QR code: Click this link to take you to QR Code Generator

    2. Open the link to the poem, video, or audio and copy (Ctrl +C) and paste (Ctrl + v) the link into the box on the QR code generator website

    3. Generate the static QR code, download, and print

  4. If you prefer doing the lesson whole group (I recommend this delivery method for the video and audio); don’t worry about creating QR codes.

  5. Explain to students that they will be exposed to a poem in three mediums. Explain to students that there are no wrong or right answers, but the skill is about comparing and contrasting text presented in different mediums.

  6. Students will:

    1. read the poem.

    2. listen to the audio.

    3. watch the video.

  7. Students will complete the graphic organizer after each medium.

Variation Tips (optional):

If students are having a difficult time comparing and contrasting each medium, students can use this list of adjectives.

Notes or Recommendations (optional):
  Keywords and Search Tags  
Keywords and Search Tags: Caged Bird, compare, contrast, difference, Maya Angelou, poem, poetry, similar