by John Steinbeck
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.
Address to the Commonwealth Club of California
- Cesar Chavez
In this rousing 1984 speech to the Commonwealth Club of California, Cesar Chavez describes the horrible working conditions for Mexican farm workers in America and calls for change.Pair “Address to the Commonwealth Club of California” with “Excerpt from The Harvest Gypsies” to provide students with additional information about the working conditions of migrant farm workers. Ask students to compare how the experiences of migrant workers are depicted in the two texts. What effect did forming unions have on farm workers?
The Triangle Shirtwaist Factory Fire
- Mike Kubic
In “The Triangle Shirtwaist Factory Fire,” Mike Kubic discusses one of the worst industrial disasters in U.S. history and the unsafe working conditions that caused it.Pair “The Triangle Shirtwaist Factory Fire” with “Excerpt from The Harvest Gypsies” and ask students to compare the working conditions described in the two texts. Why were immigrant workers exposed to more dangerous work conditions for low pay? How do both texts explore the obstacles that immigrant workers faced?
Puerto Rican Obituary
- Pedro Pietri
In Pedro Pietri’s epic poem “Puerto Rican Obituary,” Pietri describes the experiences of five Puerto Ricans in America.Pair “Puerto Rican Obituary” with “Excerpt from The Harvest Gypsies” and ask students to discuss how people who moved to America were treated. In what ways were immigrants prevented from achieving the American Dream? How do students think migrant workers’ expectations of America compared to their real experiences?
Cesar Chavez: The Life Behind A Legacy Of Farm Labor Rights
- Maureen Pao, for NPR
In the informational text “Cesar Chavez: The Life Behind A Legacy Of Farm Labor Rights,” Maureen Pao discusses the influential farm labor activist Cesar Chavez and important moments in his life.Pair “Excerpt from The Harvest Gypsies” with “Cesar Chavez: The Life Behind A Legacy Of Farm Labor Rights” to provide students with additional information about the conditions of migrant farm workers. How do John Steinbeck’s views on migrant workers compare to Cesar Chavez’s? What obstacles do the two texts describe migrant farm workers encountering?