by Diane Coutu
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 New Survivors
- Pamela Weintraub
In this article from Psychology Today, the author examines the attitudes and mindsets of cancer survivors.Pair “The New Survivors” with “How Resilience Works” and ask students to discuss how Jason Zimmerman is resilient in terms of how Diane Coutu describes resilience. How did Zimmerman develop a sense of resilience? How does this influence students’ understanding of resilience as a learned trait rather than a genetic trait? Why do students think many cancer survivors possess resilience?
Can a Devastating Shark Attack Really Lead to a Better Life?
- Melanie Greenberg
In "Can a Devastating Shark Attack Lead to a Better Life?" a psychologist explores the ways the surfer Bethany Hamilton overcame the trauma of losing her left arm in a shark attack. This informational article outlines concepts like "posttraumatic growth" and "downward comparison."Pair “Can a Devastating Shark Attack Really Lead to a Better Life?” with “How Resilience Works” and ask students to discuss how both texts explore resilience. In what ways do people become stronger or more successful by overcoming adversity?
For Many Returning Vets, 'Moral Injury' Just As Difficult
- Rachel Martin (Host)
For a veteran returning home from Afghanistan or Iraq, the mental trauma of having killed someone can be just as devastating as physical injury. The Department of Veteran Affairs has called this problem “moral injury,” but some veterans think this phrase minimizes the horror of killing. In 2013, Timothy Kudo, a former Marine captain, wrote an opinion piece for The Washington Post about grappling with moral injury. In this text, he shares his experience with NPR’s Weekend Edition Sunday host Rachel MartinPair “For Many Returning Vets, ‘Moral Injury’ Just as Difficult” with “How Resilience Works” and ask students to analyze how former Marine Captain Timothy Kudo exemplifies the qualities of resilience that Coutu describes. In this NPR interview, Kudo states, “And so you just keep pushing, and you try and make it the best for the rest of your life. And I think you also realize that despite what you’ve done, you’re more than your worst action.” Point students to Kudo’s perspective on moving on after killing enemies on the battlefield as an example of how, as Coutu puts it, “resilience is neither ethically good nor bad.” Ask students to discuss the experiences of returning veterans in the context of resilience.
A Holocaust Survivor, Spared from Gas Chamber by Twist of Fate
- Soraya Sarhaddi Nelson
In 1942, a young Polish boy named Jack Mandelbaum was torn from the rest of his family - who were sent to the gas chambers of Auschwitz - to work in a labor camp. This article reports on the story of his survival.Pair “A Holocaust Survivor, Spared from Gas Chamber by Twist of Fate” with “How Resilience Works” and ask students to discuss how Jack Mandelbaum exhibits resilience. How did Mandelbaum survive Auschwitz? How does this article present his story — does it play into the idea that luck is mainly responsible for survival? How would Diane Coutu respond to Soraya Sarhaddi Nelson’s representation of Jack Mandelbaum’s story?
Depression, The Secret We Share
- Andrew Solomon
In the speech “Depression, The Secret We Share,” Andrew Solomon describes his experiences with depression and why some people are more resilient with the illness than others.Pair “How Resilience Works” with “Depression, The Secret We Share” and ask students to discuss how the two texts explore characteristics of resilience. How do Diane Coutu’s ideas regarding an individual’s resilience compare to Andrew Solomon’s beliefs regarding resilience and depression? Why do both authors find it important to find meaning in the challenges you face?
Hurricane Katrina: The Overview; New Orleans Is Inundated As 2 Levees Fail; Much of Gulf Coast Is Crippled; Toll Rises
- Joseph B. Treaster and N.R. Kleinfield
In The New York Times article “Hurricane Katrina: The Overview; New Orleans is Inundated As 2 Levees Fail; Much of Gulf Coast Is Crippled; Toll Rises,” Joseph B. Treaster and N.R. Kleinfield discuss the areas impacted by Hurricane Katrina.Pair “How Resilience Works” with “Hurricane Katrina: The Overview; New Orleans is Inundated As 2 Levees Fail; Much of Gulf Coast Is Crippled; Toll Rises” and ask students to discuss how both texts explore resilience in the face of tragedy. What characteristics or practices does Diane Coutu identify as being an important part of resilience? How do the survivors of Hurricane Katrina exhibit resilience as Coutu describes?
Thai cave boys: the psychology of surviving underground
- Sarita Robinson
In the informational text “Thai cave boys: the psychology of surviving underground,” Sarita Robinson discusses how people can be physically and psychologically affected by a life-threatening incident.Pair “How Resilience Works” with “Thai Cave boys: the psychology of surviving underground” and ask students to discuss how people remain resilient following trauma or tragedy. Why can it be difficult for some people to be resilient after suffering through something difficult? How is this explored in “Thai cave boys: the psychology of surviving underground”? Why will it be important for the boys to strive to be resilient following this traumatic ordeal?