by Li-Young Lee
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.
- Amy Tan
In “Fish Cheeks,” which is about a Chinese American girl who feels embarrassed by her family during dinner, Tan explores how culture can be essential to a person’s identity.Pair “Fish Cheeks” with “Eating Together” and ask students to compare the family dynamics in the two texts. What significance do family meals have in the texts?
- Henry Wadsworth Longfellow
Henry Wadsworth Longfellow (1807-1882) was an American poet and educator, known particularly for his lyric poems. In this poem, he compares death to a mother leading her child to bed.Pair “Nature” with “Eating Together” and ask students to discuss how the two poets describe death. How does figurative language allow readers to better understand the deaths described in the two poems? How do the different comparisons in the two texts shape the tone of the poems?
- Li-Young Lee
In Li-Young Lee’s poem “From Blossoms,” the speaker describes eating peaches in the summertime.Pair “Eating Together” with “From Blossoms” and ask students to compare the similar styles and themes of the two poems. How is death portrayed or referenced in each poem? How does this affect the overall tone of the two poems?
To a Daughter Leaving Home
- Linda Pastan
In Linda Pastan’s poem “To a Daughter Leaving Home,” a mother describes watching her daughter ride away on her bike.Pair “Eating Together” with “To a Daughter Leaving Home” and ask students to discuss how these two poems explore different parts of growing up. How do the differing perspectives of these two poems impact their portrayals of growing up?
- Nikki Giovanni
In Nikki Giovanni’s “Legacies,” a girl’s grandmother wants to teach her a recipe.Pair “Eating Together” with “Legacies” and ask students to discuss the role food plays in both poems. What is the significance of food in each poem? How does it relate to family and traditions?
In My Mom's Shoes
- Kat Chow
Kat Chow’s “In My Mom’s Shoes,” reflects on Chow losing her mother and the experience of walking in an old pair of her shoes.Pair “Eating Together” with “In My Mom’s Shoes” and ask students to discuss the similar themes of loss in these two texts. How do the speakers of the two texts portray the grief that comes with losing a parent? How do these two texts explore different expressions of grief?
Sometimes a Dream Needs a Push
- Walter Dean Myers
In Walter Dean Myers’ short story “Sometimes a Dream Needs a Push,” a boy must change his approach to basketball when he loses the ability to walk.Pair “Eating Together” with “Sometimes a Dream Needs a Push” and ask students to discuss the role of family in the two texts. How do both texts emphasize the importance of family during difficult times? How do the families in the two texts offer support in different ways?
Eating in Silence
- Pamela Huber
In Pamela Huber’s poem “Eating in Silence,” a speaker describes making lasagna: a recipe passed down by their grandmother.Pair “Eating Together” with “Eating in Silence” and ask students to discuss how Huber’s poem was inspired by “Eating Together.” What similar themes about food and family do the two poems explore? Ask students to compare the style and figurative language used in these two poems.
Sleeping with the Baby
- JonArno Lawson
In JonArno Lawson’s poem “Sleeping with the Baby,” a speaker discusses their baby and his inability to sleep through the night.Pair “Eating Together” with “Sleeping with the Baby” and ask students to discuss how both life and death can affect a family. What obstacles does bringing a newborn baby home present? How does this compare to the effects that losing a family member can have on a family?
- Heidi Stemple
In Heidi Stemple’s memoir “Moving Home,” she describes making the decision to move home with her family after her father falls ill.Pair “Eating Together” with “Moving Home” and ask students to discuss how both texts explore families facing tragedy. Do the families have a similar response? Why or why not? How does the family in “Eating Together” support each other after their father dies? How does this compare to the support the family shows the narrator when her father is diagnosed with cancer in “Moving Home”?