by Barbara Radner
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 Worst Sin
- Joshua Salik
How do we judge what is right and wrong? Are there some actions that are better or worse that others? These are just a few of the questions raised in this parable about the Jewish judgment day, Yom Kippur, by Joshua Salik.Pair “Honest Abe” with “The Worst Sin” and ask students to think about how the ideas of morality and goodness are taken up in each text. Why did people prize Lincoln’s honesty, compassion, and devotion to being fair to all? How does his willingness to take action to set things right differ from the nature of the man discussed at the end of the latter story? Do you think a person has to be as honest and actively committed to fairness as Lincoln was to be considered good?
Paul Revere's Ride
- Henry Wadsworth Longfellow
This piece, written nearly a century after the events occurred, tells the story of Paul Revere, whose ride through greater Boston one night in 1775 helped spark the American Revolution. While not entirely historically accurate, the poem popularized the tale most Americans know today. Told from the perspective of an innkeeper, the poem recounts Revere’s midnight ride as he warns colonists of approaching British soldiers. Written in 1860 when America was on the verge of Civil War, Longfellow intended for the poem to be a call to action, reminding supporters of the northern Union that history favors the courageous.Pair “Honest Abe” with “Paul Revere’s Ride” and have students consider the historical context for each tale. What does the former text suggest about Lincoln’s leadership abilities? Do you think it implies that he was a good choice to lead the country during its identity crisis? What does the poem suggest about the historical backdrop of Lincoln’s presidency? Do you think the urgency of the time period demanded that someone with Lincoln’s moral compass act as a leader?
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” and “Honest Abe” and ask students to discuss how short anecdotes about historical figures alter our views of these people. What lessons do these short pieces teach readers?