Read each of the poems and fill in the "reading" section of the poetry worksheet.

Respond with your interpretation of the poem, noting the author's word choice, rhythm, and rhyme.

Next, listen or watch a recitation of the same poem. Respond in the "hearing/seeing" section of the poetry worksheet to the same points as the reading section. Do you have a different interpretation of the poem after hearing it? Did hearing/seeing it give you a better explanation of the meaning of the poem?

Finally, select which method you preferred: reading or hearing the poem?

"The Town of Scottsboro" by Langston Hughes

Scottsboro's just a little place:
No shame is write across its face --
Its courts too weak to stand against a mob,
Its people's heart, too small to hold a sob.

“I,Too” by Langston Hughes

I, too, sing America.

I am the darker brother.
They send me to eat in the kitchen
When company comes,
But I laugh,
And eat well,
And grow strong.

I'll be at the table
When company comes.
Nobody'll dare
Say to me,
"Eat in the kitchen,"

They'll see how beautiful I am
And be ashamed--

I, too, am America.

I, Too

“Sympathy” by Paul Laurence Dunbar

I KNOW what the caged bird feels, alas!
When the sun is bright on the upland slopes;
When the wind stirs soft through the springing grass,
And the river flows like a stream of glass;
When the first bird sings and the first bud opes,
And the faint perfume from its chalice steals —
I know what the caged bird feels!

I know why the caged bird beats his wing
Till its blood is red on the cruel bars;
For he must fly back to his perch and cling
When he fain would be on the bough a-swing;
And a pain still throbs in the old, old scars
And they pulse again with a keener sting —
I know why he beats his wing!

I know why the caged bird sings, ah me,
When his wing is bruised and his bosom sore,—
When he beats his bars and he would be free;
It is not a carol of joy or glee,
But a prayer that he sends from his heart's deep core,
But a plea, that upward to Heaven he flings —
I know why the caged bird sings!

Poetry Out Loud Winner | John Uzodinma | MPB

“Caged Bird” by Maya Angelou

The free bird leaps
on the back of the wind
and floats downstream
till the current ends
and dips his wings
in the orange sun rays
and dares to claim the sky.

But a bird that stalks
down his narrow cage
can seldom see through
his bars of rage
his wings are clipped and
his feet are tied
so he opens his throat to sing.

The caged bird sings
with fearful trill
of the things unknown
but longed for still
and is tune is heard
on the distant hillfor the caged bird
sings of freedom

The free bird thinks of another breeze
an the trade winds soft through the sighing trees
and the fat worms waiting on a dawn-bright lawn
and he names the sky his own.

But a caged bird stands on the grave of dreams
his shadow shouts on a nightmare scream
his wings are clipped and his feet are tied
so he opens his throat to sing

The caged bird sings
with a fearful trill
of things unknown
but longed for still
and his tune is heard
on the distant hill
for the caged bird
sings of freedom.

California Poetry Out Loud 2010 Xochil Goretsky of Mendocino County Rd. 2

Create a Found Poem


  • Use the link below to go to readwritethink.org and read the explanation/how to create a found poem activity.
  • Using quotes from Chapters 28-31, create a found poem that expresses your reaction to the end TKAM.
  • Copy your found poem onto a piece of construction paper.