by Joaquin Miller
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.
The Fisherman and His Wife
- The Brothers Grimm
Jacob (1785-1863) and Wilhelm Grimm (1786-1859), also known as the Brothers Grimm, were German academics and authors who specialized in the collection and publication of folklore. In this story, a fisherman catches a magical fish who grants wishes—perhaps too many.Pop songs aren’t the only things that repeat a refrain. Pair “The Fisherman and His Wife” with “Columbus” and ask students to focus on repetition in both texts. Does the refrain of this poem work similarly or differently to the refrain of the fairytale?
Letter to the Treasurer of Spain
- Christopher Columbus
Upon arriving to the island "Juana"--present-day Cuba--Italian explorer Christopher Columbus wrote this letter to the benefactor of his voyage about the rich landscape and curious people he encountered in this promising new territory.Although "Letter to the Treasurer of Spain" is more difficult than "Columbus," it could be a great way to challenge your more advanced students to compare a tribute to Columbus to the explorer’s own writing. How does Miller’s portrayal relate to Columbus’ own account of his experiences?
America and I
- Anzia Yezierska
Anzia Yezierska (1880-1970) was a Jewish-American immigrant and novelist known for her writing on immigration, assimilation, and Jewish-American lives. "America and I" is Yezierska's short essay about her struggles adapting to her new country.Pair these two ‘coming-to-America’ stories and have students think about what makes America unique. Students may also be interested to compare the statement that narrator of “America and I” makes, “I felt like a Columbus, finding new worlds through every new word,” with Miller’s phrase “he gained a world” (Line 39). What does it mean to find a new world, even if you are not its first discoverer?
Columbus and the Egg
- Barbara Radner
“Columbus and the Egg” retells a fabled story of how Columbus proved his accomplishments to his critics.Pair “Columbus and the Egg” with “Columbus” and ask students to think about how the feelings expressed in the poem develop those in the story, and vice versa. What attributes of Columbus does the poet emphasize? How do the differing forms of the two texts contribute to their respective tones?
- Mahani Zubaidy Gunnell
In Mahani Zubaidy Gunnell’s “Cobra Kite,” the author describes watching kites fight in the sky as a young girl.“Pair Cobra Kite” with “Columbus” and ask students to discuss how the characters in each text respond to doubt. Is it similar or different? Do their reactions lead to their success? How does each character realize their success?