by Langston Hughes
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.
- Claude McKay
Festus Claudius “Claude” McKay (1889-1948) was a Jamaican-American novelist and poet who played an important role in the Harlem Renaissance. In this sonnet, the speaker reveals his mixed feelings about living in "the land of the free."Pair “America” with “I, Too” and ask students to discuss how the two poems portray America. How are the speakers in the poem treated in America? How does the tone used in “America” compare to “I, Too”? How does tone affect the overall themes of the two poems?
The Negro Speaks of Rivers
- Langston Hughes
The speaker in this famous Langston Hughes poem uses symbolism to explain the connection they feel between their ancestry and identity.Pair “The Negro Speaks of Rivers” with “I, Too” to provide students with another example of Langston Hughes’ poetry. Ask students to discuss how Hughes speaks to the experiences of black people in America. How do the tones of his two poems compare?
The Harlem Renaissance
- Jessica McBirney
In the informational text “The Harlem Renaissance,” Jessica McBirney discusses how the movement developed and the effect it had on America.Pair “The Harlem Renaissance” with “I, Too” to provide students with information about the Harlem Renaissance, the movement in which Langston Hughes was a leading figure. What do students learn from the informational text about Hughes’ poetry? How does the poem reflect the themes identified in the informational text?