Read the movie description that appears below the movie player on the Maya Angelou Topic Page. Then use the following prompts to encourage class discussion before, during, and after watching the movie.

Before the Movie

What do you know about Maya Angelou?

What does it mean to be oppressed?


During the Movie (Pause Points)

Stop at the following times in the movie and ask questions or prompt a discussion to keep students focused and to assess their understanding before moving on:


Timecode 1:12: How did Angelou’s early struggles inspire her writing? How might this help other people experiencing the same or similar experiences?

Timecode 2:02: Who is the caged bird in Angelou’s book? Why would it sing?

Timecode 2:28: How might the combination of fact and fiction make a story more powerful?

Timecode 2:40: How could a child’s perspective add depth to a memoir?

Timecode 3:22: How would you describe Maya Angelou’s talent?


After the Movie

What is inspirational about Maya Angelou’s story?


*BrainPOP’s Discussion Questions and Prompts align to CCSS Speaking and Listening Standards.