by Sophie Swett
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.
From 'The World Before Him'
- Horatio Alger, Jr.
In this excerpt from The World Before Him (1902), author Horatio Alger, Jr. perfectly captures the hopeful vision of success in America’s Gilded Age through the eyes of a young country boy.Pair this excerpt from The World Before Him with “How Santa Claus Found the Poor-House” and ask students to consider what these stories have in common. How does the main character in each achieve success? Are these storylines realistic? Why or why not?
At The Head of Her Class, and Homeless
- NPR Staff
In June 2014, NPR published this story about Rashema Melson. At the time, Melson was a homeless high school senior at Anacostia High School in Washington, D.C. She is now a student at Georgetown University.Pair “At the Head of Her Class, and Homeless” with “How Santa Claus Found the Poor-House” and ask students to consider what character traits allow both the real Rashema and the fictional Gobaly to succeed, especially those traits that allowed them to excel in spite of their tough circumstances.
Love and Friendship
- Emily Brontë
Emily Brontë (1818-1848) was an English poet and novelist. While growing up, Brontë spent much of her time creating stories with her siblings, two of whom were also famous authors. In this poem, Emily Brontë uses symbolism to argue that friendship — not love — is everlasting.Pair “Love and Friendship” with “How Santa Claus Found the Poor-House” and ask students to consider what constitutes friendship, and what makes it so long-lasting. What, according to each text, makes friendship so special?