by Jo Cutler, Robin Banerjee
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.
Putting Good Deeds In Headlines May Not Be So Good
- Tovia Smith
In her op-ed, "Putting Good Deeds in Headlines May Not Be So Good," Tovia Smith argues that when the media celebrates do-gooders, it creates the idea that the norm is that most people wouldn't do the right thing. This article is a great exercise in argument and supporting argument.Pair “Putting Good Deeds In the Headlines May Not Be So Good” with “Five reasons why being kind makes you feel good — according to science” to provide students with information about what happens when good deeds are glorified in the news. How do people feel when they see stories of people being kind to others? How do students think this compares to the experience one has when they are kind to someone else? What are the negative effects of celebrating people who act morally?
Can We Cultivate Our Own Happiness?
- ABC News
- September 4, 2002
In the informational text "Can We Cultivate Our Own Happiness?" psychologist Martin Seligman discusses how people can achieve overall happiness.Pair “Can We Cultivate Our Own Happiness?” with “Five reasons why being kind makes you feel good — according to science” and ask students to discuss how each text explores happiness. According to each text, what can students do to improve their overall happiness? Ask students to discuss how having a better understanding of who they are and what’s important to them can help them be happier.
- Emily Sohn
In the informational text "Nice Chimps," Emily Sohn discusses a study that explores the altruistic nature of young children and chimpanzees.Pair “Nice Chimps” with “Five reasons why being kind makes you feel good — according to science” to provide students with a more advanced text about the kindness of chimps and babies. Ask students to discuss how the chimps and babies helped others without expecting a reward. Do students think that the chimps and babies felt their kind acts were rewarding in itself? Why or why not?
- Julia Alvarez
In Julia Alvarez's "Aha Moment," a woman describes a frightening moment when her plane has to make an emergency landing.Pair “Five reasons why being kind makes you feel good — according to science” with “Aha Moment” to provide students with information about the benefits of being kind. Ask students to discuss how being kind to others can have a positive impact on individuals. How do students think the narrator was positively impacted by the kindness she showed the girl on the plane and the kindness she received from other passengers? Do you think kindness should be passed along, like the narrator in “Aha Moment” believes, or paid back? Explain your answer.
The No-Guitar Blues
- Gary Soto
In "The No-Guitar Blues," a boy attempts to make money to buy himself a guitar.Pair “Five reasons why being kind makes you feel good – according to science” with “The No-Guitar Blues” to provide students with an informational text about being kind. Why are people kind to others according to the informational text? Ask students to explain Fausto’s motivations for donating the money he received from the couple. Which of the explanations provided in the informational text explains Fausto’s actions?
- Victor Lavalle
In "Recognition," two neighbors become friends during the COVID-19 pandemic but struggle to stay connected amid the ongoing New York City lockdown.Pair “Five Reasons Why Being Kind Makes You Feel Good” and “Recognition” and ask students to discuss why kindness and community can be useful tools for managing one’s mental health during a crisis. In the informational text, Jo Cutler and Robin Banerjee discuss why being kind to others makes you feel good. How does the narrator or Mirta show kindness in the short story? Which of the five mechanisms do they act on?