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Angelou and Imagery

An overview of imagery in literature and Maya Angelou

Nicole Petraitis

on 7 October 2015

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Transcript of Angelou and Imagery

Do Now: Please have your journal open to a new page with the date on top.
Common Core

RL.9-10.4 Determine the meaning of words and phrases as they are used in the text, including figurative and connotative meanings; analyze the cumulative impact of specific word choices on meaning and tone (e.g., how the language evokes a sense of time and place; how it sets a formal or informal tone).
Today I will:
So that I can:
I'll know I have it when:
In your own words:
What is Imagery?
Imagery, in a literary text, is an author's use of vivid and descriptive language to add depth to their work.
It appeals to human senses (sight, hearing, touch, smell and taste) to deepen the reader's understanding of the work.
Imagery is sensory language and can include metaphors and similes.
Found poems take existing texts and refashion them, reorder them, and present them as poems.
The literary equivalent of a collage, found poetry is often made from newspaper articles, street signs, graffiti, speeches, letters, or even other poems.
A pure found poem consists exclusively of outside texts: the words of the poem remain as they were found, with few additions or omissions. Decisions of form, such as where to break a line, are left to the poet.
Found Poems
Simile: compares one thing to another using the words "like" and "as
Figurative Language:
Metaphor: compares two unlike things by setting them up as equals. It describes one object as if it were another.
My mother is like a drill sergeant, barking orders and running the house like the military.
Michael is my rock, always supportive and keeping me strong.
Personification: language in which a nonhuman subject is given human traits.
The tree reached its arms to the sky.
Hyperbole: exaggeration of speech for emphasis or effect.
I'm so hungry, I could eat a horse!
Imagery can include...
October 7, 2015
Sensory Details & Imagery
In your journals, write an explanatory paragraph describing your favorite food using sensory details and descriptions.
Think about it:
Would someone else be able to imagine eating your food based on your description?
Maya Angelou
An American author and poet
Born in St. Louis, Missouri, on April 4, 1928
Died May 28, 2014 (86 years)
Growing up, Dr. Angelou experienced the brutality of racial discrimination, but she also absorbed the unshakable faith and values of traditional African-American family, community, and culture.
Civil Rights Activist - Worked closely with both Malcolm X and Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. prior to their assassinations
Best known for autobiographies - The first, I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings (1969), tells of her life up to the age of seventeen, and brought her international recognition and acclaim
"I speak to the black experience, but I am always talking about the human condition - about what we can endure, dream, fail at, and still survive."
~Maya Angelou
"When I Lay My Burden Down"
- an excerpt from I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings
impudent (adj)
shamelessly disrespectful; rude

appellations (noun)
names; titles

apparitions (noun)
strange; ghostlike figures

servile (adj)
humbly submissive; like a slave

agitation (noun)
stirring up; disturbance or excitement

Create an original Found Poem from "When I Lay My Burden Down" focusing on how the imagery in the text contributes to the work's effectiveness.
Be prepared to share!
identify imagery
analyze the effect of imagery in a piece of literature
creating a found poem
You could not!
Exit Ticket: Draw one image from the text that is an effective example of imagery.

What images stood out the most to you?
What language helped you see, hear, taste, touch, or smell what is being described?
How does each image contribute to the overall effectiveness of the work?
When thinking back to the imagery in the story, discuss the following:
Finish for homework! Due next class!
A mini-biography on Maya Angelou
Angelou's biography is set in Arkansas in the 1930's and 1940's, when Jim Crow laws throughout the South maintained racial segregation in public transportation, schools, parks, theaters and restaurants.
"When I Lay My Burden Down"
Describe how apparitions might be used in a horror movie.
What appellations do you use for friends? parents? teachers? adults?
How would you describe a servile dog? an impudent child?
What events would cause agitation inside the classroom?

#1 -Highlight in
all of the words/phrases that describe the setting.
-List all the things you know about the setting of this incident.

#2 - Highlight in
the behavior of the "powhitetrash" children.
- How do the "powhitetrash" children behave in this story?

#3 -Highlight in
the narrators reaction as the rude girls insult her grandmother.
-What is the narrator's reaction as the rude girls insult her grandmother?

#4 - Highlight in
Momma's response to the insult.
- What is Momma's response to the insult?


Figurative Language
Practice using Notice & Note Strategies
Note any examples of imagery as you read the text.
Let's Practice!
"The Shell" by James Stephens

And straightway like a bell
Came low and clear
The slow, sad murmur of the distant seas,
. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
And in the hush of waters was the sound
Of pebbles rolling round,
For ever rolling with a hollow sound.
And bubbling sea-weeds as the waters go
Swish to and fro
Their long, cold tentacles of slimy grey.
—from “The Shell” by James Stephens

Which words appeal to the senses of hearing, sight and touch?
Underline "hearing" words.
Put a box around "seeing" words.
Highlight "touch words" in blue.
Text Dependent Questions - Complete your question individually, and then share with your group one at a time to complete all questions.
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