Paired Texts > A Litany for Survival
We've identified these texts as great options for text pairings based on similar themes, literary devices, topic, or writing style. Supplement your lesson with one or more of these options and challenge students to compare and contrast the texts. To assign a paired text, click on the text to go to its page and click the "Assign Text" button there.
In Nikki Grimes' poem "Jabari Unmasked," a speaker describes hiding their identity from the world.Pair “A Litany for Survival” with “Jabari Unmasked” and ask students to discuss the themes present in each poem. Do students think the speakers in both poems are facing a similar conflict? Why or why not? Do the speakers send the same message about how to face conflict? Explain.
In "The Women of Hidden Figures," Jessica McBirney describes three famous African American women who performed crucial work at NASA during the Space Race.Pair “A Litany for Survival” with “The Women of Hidden Figures” and ask students to discuss if the speaker in the poem voiced the struggles of the women who worked as “computers” during the Space Race. How did the women of Hidden Figures speak up to support equality? Do students think the women were afraid to speak up? Why or why not?
In Emily Dickinson's poem "Her sweet Weight on my Heart a Night," a speaker reflects on a dream.Pair “A Litany for Survival” with “Her sweet Weight on my Heart a Night” and ask students to discuss themes present in each poem. Do students think the speakers have similar experiences? Why or why not? Ask students to discuss if the speaker in “Her sweet Weight on my Heart a Night” also lives on the shoreline like the speaker in “A Litany for Survival.”
In "Surviving," young adult fiction author Marie Lu explains how the lessons of resilience and adaptability that she learned from watching her parents navigate the impossible have shaped her own life's path.Pair “A Litany for Survival” with “Surviving” and ask students to compare the poem’s theme with the lesson that Lu says she learned from her parents about survival. According to the speaker of “A Litany for Survival,” how does living in a constant state of oppression affect people? Why does the speaker say that oppressed people should speak out anyway, even if they feel fear? Explain the lesson that Marie Lu learned from her parents about how to adapt in “Surviving.” What does she mean when she says, “Survival was never about keeping your head down or not rocking the boat. It was about finding a way” (Paragraph 29)?