by Carl Sandburg
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.
- John Locke
In this document by British philosopher John Locke, Locke argues for individual sacrifice so that people can live peacefully in a political society. Locke’s philosophical works heavily influenced American revolutionaries and the formation of democracy.Pair “Political Society” with “I am the people, the mob” and spark a discussion about the role of individual freedom in a democracy.
Give Me Liberty or Give Me Death Speech
- Patrick Henry
In this speech, Patrick Henry rouses colonist leaders to take up arms against the British tyranny. It is from this speech that the Declaration of Independence was born. This speech uses an emotional argument, and lays the foundation for fundamental American values of individual power.Pair “I am the people, the mob” with the “Give Me Liberty or Give Me Death” speech and ask students to discuss themes of revolution and action in both pieces. How does each text portray the power of the common man?
Halsted Street Car
- Carl Sandburg
Carl Sandburg's poem "Halsted Street Car" (1916) is a critique of working conditions in Chicago. In it, Sandburg paints a powerful picture of the weary faces of the working class.Pair these two texts by Sandburg, and ask students to compare the author’s use of language and point of view.
- Carl Sandburg
Carl Sandburg's "Languages" is a poem about language and poetry itself. In it, Sandburg uses natural imagery and figurative language to convey the idea that language is changing and fleeting.Pair "I am the people, the mob" with “Languages” for a more in-depth analysis of Sandburg’s writing, including his style and message. Ask students to describe the world in the early 1900s as Sandburg saw it.
The Song of The Shirt
- Thomas Hood
"Song of the Shirt" (1843) by Thomas Hood is a lyrical, repetitive poem narrated from the perspective of someone in the working class.Pair "Song of the Shirt" with "I am the people, the mob" and ask students to compare the use of figurative language. What is similar about each poem (audience, tone, message), and what is different?
Fear of Change
- Henry Ford
In his essay "Fear of Change," Henry Ford, the inventor of the Model T and the assembly line discusses why he believes some resist innovation and change.Henry Ford believed that mass production and consumerism was essential for peace and prosperity. His company, Ford Motor Company, revolutionized the American auto industry and created jobs for thousands, yet Henry Ford was adamantly against labor unions. Pair "Fear of Change" with Carl Sandburg's 1916 poem "I am the people, the mob" to spark a discussion about this point in American history.
The Tiananmen Square Massacre
- Mike Kubic
In this informational text on the Tiananmen Square massacre, students will learn about how peaceful protests for social, economic, and government change in China build until the ruling regime of the 1980s silences the voices of the people and ends the protests in a violent manner.Pair the poem “I am the people, the mob” with the non-fiction text “The Tiananmen Square Massacre” for both a literary and informational take on the power of activism and mass movements. Ask students: do the themes of Sandburg’s poem reflect the reality of what happened to the protesters in Tiananmen Square?
- Carl Sandburg
In Carl Sandburg’s “Wilderness,” the speaker explains how he carries parts of the wilderness inside of himself.Pair “I am the people, the mob” with “Wilderness” and ask students to discuss how Sandburg explores the diversity of human experiences in these two texts. What literary devices does he use to emphasize this diversity? How do the style and tone of these two Sandburg poems compare?
She was paralyzed by gun fire as a child in Dorchester. Now she's graduating from high school
- Laura Crimaldi
In the informational text “She was paralyzed by gun fire as a child in Dorchester. Now she’s graduating from high school,” Laura Crimaldi discusses one girls’ amazing story after being shot.Pair “I am the people, the mob” with “She was paralyzed by gun fire as a child in Dorchester. Now she’s graduating from high school” and ask students to discuss how change comes about. How does the change Carl Sandburg describes in his poem compare to the change Kai Harriott is contributing to regarding gun violence? How do both texts explore the people who are responsible for creating wide-spread change?