by Mark Cartwright
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.
Ancient Greece: The Birthplace of Western Individualism
“Ancient Greece: The Birthplace of Western Individualism” contemplates the relationship between the ancient Greeks’ human-oriented polytheism and their cultural endorsement of individualism.Pair “Ancient Greece: The Birthplace of Western Individualism” with “Aztec Sacrifice” and ask students to explore the notions of gods and fate. How do gods control the lives of these two civilizations and how do they attempt to take control of their fate?
“Egyptian Mummies” discusses the process a deceased Egyptian noble goes through to be prepared for the afterlife.Pair “Egyptian Mummies” with “Aztec Sacrifice” and ask students to explore how these two civilizations use death as a means to communicate with the gods. How does the embalming ritual of Egyptians compare to the ritualistic sacrifices of the Aztecs? What do these rituals attempt to achieve?
Clash of Cultures: Indigenous America and the Conquistadores
In “Clash of Cultures: Indigenous America and the Conquistadores,” this informational text recounts the fateful meeting between the Aztecs and the Spanish conquistadores that led to the fall of the former’s civilization.Pair “Aztec Sacrifice” with “Clash of Cultures: Indigenous America and the Conquistadores” and ask students to discuss this notorious Aztec ritual. Why did the Aztec people perform this particular form of sacrifice? What does this ritual reveal about their culture and how they viewed the world?
- Shirley Jackson
In Shirley Jackson’s short story “The Lottery,” an entire town participates in a ritual that turns surprisingly sinister.Pair “Aztec Sacrifice” with “The Lottery” and ask students to discuss the similarities between the rituals discussed in the two texts. Do students think that Aztec sacrifices inspired Shirley Jackson’s story? What details might she have based off the Aztecs’ rituals? Do you think it was fair how the victims of the sacrifices were selected in both examples? Why or why not?