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 Pakistan, a Self-Styled Teacher Holds Class for 150 in a Cowshed
- Philip Reeves
This article reports on the efforts of Aansoo Kohli, a 20-year-old Pakistani woman, to bring education to her rural village in Pakistan.Pair “In Pakistan, A Self-Styled Teacher Holds Class for 150 in a Cowshed” with “Diary of a Teenage Refugee” and ask students to discuss the challenges these young women face, as well as how they hope to overcome these obstacles one day.
'Chasing Memories' In Their Refugee Camp 40 Years After Fleeing Vietnam
- Hansi Lo Wang
Vietnamese American refugees who fled communist rule in their home country in the late 20th century reunite at a former processing center.Pair “’Chasing Memories’ in their Refugee Camp 40 Years After Fleeing Vietnam” with “Diary of a Teenage Refugee” and have students consider how the latter text adds depth to their understanding of the former. How does learning the perspective of a young woman who is currently experiencing life as a refugee form a war-torn nation help you understand the desire of the Vietnamese-Americans in the former piece to reconnect with their old friends? How might the designation of “refugee” create a crisis of identity?
One Woman's War Efforts During World War II
- Veterans History Project
In "One Woman's War Efforts During WWII," a Jewish woman who left Germany for America, Lotte Magnus, is interviewed and describes her experiences coming to the United States and aiding in the war.Pair “Diary of a Teenage Refugee” with “One Woman’s War Efforts During WWII” and ask student to compare how civilians are impacted by war. Compare why the women of both text are forced to flee from their homes in the face of war and violence.
A Refugee Looks Back
- Mike Kubic
Mike Kubic, a former Newsweek magazine correspondent, discusses his experiences as a post-WWII refugee and the need to address the refugee crisis of Middle Eastern migrants struggling for entry into Europe.Pair “Dairy of a Teenage Refugee” with “A Refugee Looks Back” and ask students to compare the experiences of the two narrators. How do the experiences of a Syrian refugee compare to Kubic’s experiences as a post-WWII refugee? Teachers should note that while the texts discuss similar topics, the "Diary of a Teenage Refugee" is a more appropriate text for lower-level readers.
It Is Raining on the House of Anne Frank
- Linda Pastan
In Linda Pastan's "It Is Raining on the House of Anne Frank," the speaker contrasts the suffering of tourists visiting the Anne Frank house with the suffering of the house's inhabitants during the Holocaust.Pair “Diary of a Teenage Refugee” by Amira with “It Is Raining on the House of Anne Frank,” and have students discuss the idea of suffering. Ask students to define what it means to truly suffer. Who in the poem do they think is suffering?
Soccer Speaks Many Languages
- Dianna Geers
In the informational text "Soccer Speaks Many Languages," Dianna Greers discusses how a young refugee, Innocent Ndayizeye, is able to connect with others through soccer.Pair “Diary of a Teenage Refugee” with “Soccer Speaks Many Languages” to provide students with another person’s experience as a refugee. How do Amira’s experiences living in a refugee camp compare to Innocent’s experiences? How do you think playing a sport or game with the other children at the refugee camp could improve Amira’s time at the camp?
Free at Last: A Kurdish Family in America
- Karen O'Connor
In Karen O'Connor's "Free at Last: A Kurdish Family in America," O'Connor talks to a Kurdish family about their experiences as refugees.Pair “Diary of a Teenage Refugee” with “Free at Last: A Kurdish Family in America” and ask students to discuss the experiences of refugees explored in the two texts. How do the Ahmet family’s experiences fleeing their homeland compare to Amira’s experiences? How do the two memoirs offer different perspectives on refugees’ experiences?
5 Surprising Facts about the Refugee Crisis
- Jason Beaubien
In the informational text "5 Surprising Facts about the Refugee Crisis," Jason Beaubien discusses refugee crises around the world and how countries are responding to them.Pair “Diary of a Teenage Refugee” with “5 Surprising Facts about the Refugee Crisis” and ask students to discuss how Amira describes her experiences as a refugee. How do her experiences compare to how the author of “5 Surprising Facts about the Refugee Crisis” describes the Syrian refugee crisis? What problems do refugees encounter in camps?
Sweet, Difficult Sounds
- I.M. Desta
In "Sweet Difficult Sounds," a young girl who immigrated to America from Zimbabwe struggles with confidence as she adjusts to her new school environment.Pair “Diary of a Teenage Refugee” with “Sweet Difficult Sounds” and have students consider why refugees might choose to come to America. Even though “Sweet Difficult Sounds” does not provide a backstory for why Nothukula came to America, readers know she left her family behind to live with her Aunt Thandi. Use this text to help students write diary entries from Nothukula’s point of view. These could take place before, during, or after the events of “Sweet Difficult Sounds.”
Climate change has finally caught up to this Alaska village
- Craig Welch
The residents of the Alaskan village of Newtok are being forced to move due to the ongoing effects of climate change.Pair “Diary of a Teenage Refugee” with “Climate change has finally caught up to this Alaska village” and ask students to compare why and how the Syrians and the Ypu’iks are forced to move. Do they have any control over the reasons? How do the communities help one another in each situation? What would you do in each situation?