by Jimmy Santiago Baca
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.
- Elizabeth Barrett Browning
Sonnet 43 is better known by it's popular first line, "How do I love thee? Let me count the ways." Elizabeth Barret Browning's Sonnet 43 is one of the most famous poems in the English language.Pair “Sonnet 43” with “I Am Offering This Poem” and ask students to discuss the effect love has on people.
To My Dear and Loving Husband
- Anne Bradstreet
Addressed to Bradstreet’s husband, this poem depicts the intimacy of a couple deeply in love.Pair “I Am Offering This Poem” with “To My Dear and Loving Husband” and ask students to compare how each poet frames their love. Compare the speaker of Baca’s poem, who can only offer his poem/love instead of material things, to the speaker of Bradstreet’s poem, who will not be satisfied by anything material. Which poem better encapsulates our ideas of love?
Excerpt from 'A Christmas Carol': The Second of the Three Spirits
- Charles Dickens
In one of Dickens' best known works, A Christmas Carol, a greedy old miser named Ebenezer Scrooge is visited in the night by the ghost of his old business partner, Jacob Marley, who warns that he must change his selfish ways before it is too late. In this excerpt, the third chapter of the book, Scrooge meets the second of three spirits: the gregarious Ghost of Christmas Present.Pair “I Am Offering This Poem” with “Excerpt from A Christmas Carol: The Second of Three Spirits” and ask students to discuss any similar themes between them. Do people need money to show others they love them?
Manifest Destiny, I Do Believe
- BirdBrain History
In “Manifest Destiny, I Do Believe,” Cordelia – a fictional missionary and pioneer - writes a letter about her bold plans to travel west and “civilize” the Indians in the name of Manifest Destiny.Pair “Manifest Destiny, I Do Believe” with “I Am Offering This Poem” and ask students to think about depictions of Native Americans in the minds of settlers, such as Cordelia from “Manifest Destiny, I Do Believe,” compared to when native people can speak for themselves, as Jimmy does in “I Am Offering This Poem.”
The Little Match Girl
- Hans Christian Andersen
In this well-known short story, Andersen tells the tale of a young girl stuck in the cold on New Year’s Eve while dreaming of warmth and family.Pair “The Little Match Girl” with “I Am Offering This Poem.” Ask students to discuss the role of love as presented in each text. How does each text represent the idea of love? Would Hans Christian Andersen and Jimmy Santiago Baca agree with each other about love? Why or why not?
Mother and Daughter
- Gary Soto
In Gary Soto’s short story “Mother and Daughter,” a young girl is embarrassed when her mother can’t buy her a new dress for the school dance.Pair “I Am Offering This Poem” with “Mother and Daughter” and ask students to discuss how the two texts explore what is important in life. What do the characters in the two stories value? Why is it important to them?
The Treasure of Lemon Brown
- Walter Dean Myers
In Walter Dean Myers’s short story “The Treasure of Lemon Brown,” a boy meets an old man who will protect his treasure at all costs.Pair “I Am Offering This Poem” with “The Treasure of Lemon Brown” and ask students to discuss what is valued in both texts. What do the characters consider important and why? What do Lemon Brown’s treasure and what the speaker considers important in “I Am Offering This Poem” have in common?
- Joy Cowley
In Joy Cowley’s poem “Farmyard Wedding,” two ducks get married and celebrate with their friends.Pair “I Am Offering This Poem” with “Farmyard Wedding” and ask students to discuss how both poems explore love. How does the way the poet shows love in “I Am Offering This Poem” compare to how Duck and Drake prove their love to each other?
The Poetry Quilt
- Deirdre Mundy
In Deirdre Mundy’s short story “The Poetry Quilt” a Puritan girl gives up poetry after her sister tells her it’s for babies.Pair “I Am Offering This Poem” with “The Poetry Quilt” and ask students to discuss how the value of poetry is explored in both texts. What does poetry mean to the speaker in “I Am Offering This Poem”? How does this compare to what poetry provides Mistress Bradstreet and Charity?
Poetry Means the World to Me
- Tony Medina
In Tony Medina’s poem “Poetry Means the World to Me,” Medina speaks from Langston Hughes’ point of view to explore his love for poetry.Pair “I Am Offering This Poem” with “Poetry Means the World to Me” and ask students to discuss how both speakers view poetry. How do the speakers use poetry to express themselves? How do the perspectives of the two poems compare?
I'm the Library Lady
- J. Patrick Lewis
In J. Patrick Lewis’ poem “I’m the Library Lady” the speaker describes the books that readers can find at the library.Pair “I Am Offering This Poem” with “I’m the Library Lady” and ask students to discuss how both poems explore the power of literature. What does it mean to the speaker of “I Am Offering this Poem” that they can give someone a poem? How does this compare to what the speaker of “I’m the Library Lady” believes books can do for readers?
Valentine for Ernest Mann
- Naomi Shihab Nye
In Naomi Shihab Nye’s poem “Valentine for Ernest Mann,” a speaker describes discovering poetry in unlikely places in the world.Pair “I Am Offering This Poem” with “Valentine for Ernest Mann” and ask students to discuss what seemingly normal things the two poems discuss and what is beautiful about them. How do both texts explore how poetry is able to convey love?
- Francesca Lia Block
In Francesca Lia Block’s short story “Blue,” a blue creature appears after a young girl’s mother leaves.Pair “I Am Offering This Poem” with “Blue” and ask students to compare how each text treats the phrase “I love you.” How does writing help the speaker in the poem as well as the characters in “Blue” explore their feelings? How does it help them share their feelings? How does each text explore the idea of treasure?