by Barbara J. King for NPR
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.
Genetically Modified Salmon: Food or 'Frankenfish'?
- Monique Conrod
This article reports on a new yet controversial technology that makes it possible for companies to raise genetically modified salmon that grow very fast.Pair “Genetically Modified Salmon: Food or ‘Frankenfish?’” with “How Human Should a Gorilla Be?” and ask students to discuss how the progress of humans can have negative impacts on the world around them. How do the benefits and costs of genetically modified salmon compare to costs and benefits of teaching Koko ASL? Are both forms of progress worth the cost?
Woolly Mammoth Sparks Debate Over Cloning
- Joyce Grant
In this article from Teaching Kids News, students will learn about the controversy surrounding recent technological developments that could allow scientists to resurrect extinct species like the woolly mammoth by cloning DNA from preserved carcasses found in ice.Pair “Woolly mammoth Sparks Debate Over Cloning” with “How Human Should a Gorilla Be?” and ask students to discuss how science and ethics can sometimes clash. How does the ethical argument surrounding Koko compare to the ethics of cloning?
Why Dolphins Make Us Nervous
- Robert Krulwich
In the informational text “Why Dolphins Man Us Nervous,” Robert Krulwich discusses dolphins’ intelligence and how it compares to humans’ intelligence.Pair “How Human Should a Gorilla Be” with “Why Dolphins Make Us Nervous” and ask students to discuss how animals’ intelligence can influence how we treat them. What forms of intelligence do humans value in animals? What questions does the intelligence of dolphins and Koko raise in both texts? How does Koko’s experience with intelligence differ from that of dolphins?
- Emily Sohn
In the informational text “Nice Chimps,” Emily Sohn discusses a study that explores the altruistic nature of young children and chimpanzees.Pair “How Human Should a Gorilla Be?” with “Nice Chimps” to provide students with additional information on similarities between humans and animals. Ask students to discuss what separates humans from other primates. Why are abilities such as communication and altruism considered human? How do both texts develop our understanding of the intelligence of animals?
Animal emotions stare us in the face — are our pets happy?
- Mirjam Guesgen
In the informational text “Animal emotions stare us in the face – are our pets happy?” Mirjam Guesgen discusses technology being developed to decipher animals’ facial expressions.Pair “How Human Should A Gorilla Be?” with “Animal emotions stare us in the face – are our pets happy?” and ask students to discuss how Koko was able to communicate what she was feeling with humans. How was Koko’s relationship with humans different once she learned how to communicate with them? How do students think the relationship between humans and animals would change if we could understand their facial expressions?
DNA Tells Tale of How Cats Conquered the World
- Tina Hesman Saey
In the informational text, “DNA Tells Tale of How Cats Conquered the World,” Tina Hessman Saey discusses a study that sheds light on when and where domesticated cats spread.Pair “How Human Should a Gorilla Be?” with “DNA Tells Tale of How Cats Conquered the World” and ask students to discuss humans’ influence on animals. How does the impact humans have on domesticated animals compare to how humans changed Koko’s life? How do the two texts explore the negative and positive effects humans can have on the lives of animals?