by Julio Noboa
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.
How Autism Freed Me to be Myself
- Rosie King
In “How Autism Freed Me to be Myself,” 16-year-old Rosie King shares her experiences with autism, and why she values the unique abilities that autism has provided her.Pair “How Autism Freed Me to be Myself” with “Identity” and ask students to discuss what it means to be true to your identity. What has Rosie King’s autism enabled her to do? How does this compare to what the speaker of “Identity” is capable of because he sees himself as similar to a weed?
The Rose That Grew from Concrete
- Tupac Shakur
In Tupac Shakur’s “The Rose That Grew from Concrete,” the speaker describes a flower that grew in an unlikely place.Pair “The Rose That Grew from Concrete” with “Identity” and ask students to discuss how the two poems use nature to explore identity. What does being a flower mean to the speakers of the two poems? What do the two speakers consider important? How do they explore this through the imagery of flowers and weeds?
- Carl Sandburg
In Carl Sandburg’s “Wilderness,” the speaker explains how he carries parts of the wilderness inside of himself.Pair “Wilderness” with “Identity” and ask students to discuss how the two poems use nature to explore human identity. What do the speakers of the two poems value in themselves? Do students think “wildness” is the same as “freedom”? Why or why not?
New Carolina City
- Sydney Hamilton
In Sydney Hamilton’s “New Carolina City,” a speaker describes a seemingly impossibly perfect city known as New Carolina City.Pair “Identity” with “New Carolina City” and ask students to consider how the speaker in “Identity” would respond to the citizens of New Carolina City. How do both of these poems address conformity? Students can examine the imagery used in both texts.
Can We Cultivate Our Own Happiness?
- ABC News
- September 4, 2002
In the informational text “Can We Cultivate Our Own Happiness?” psychologist Martin Seligman discusses how people can achieve overall happiness.Pair “Identity” with “Can We Cultivate Our Own Happiness?” and ask students to discuss how the two texts approach achieving happiness. How do Seligman’s views on happiness compare to those of the speaker of “Identity?” Why is the speaker of “Identity” happier as a weed than as a flower.?
Excerpt from “Our America”
- José Martí
In this excerpt from “Our America,” José Martí discusses the governing of Latin American nations newly independent from outside influence.Pair “Identity” with “Excerpt from ‘Our America’” and ask students to discuss how both texts explore the notion of identity. How does Julio Noboa’s discussion of personal identity compare to José Martí’s discussion of national identity? What characteristics do they both value? Who do students think would be the flowers and weeds in José Martí’s text?
The White Umbrella
- Gish Jen
In Gish Jen’s short story “The White Umbrella,” a Chinese American girl sees a white umbrella that she wishes she could own.Pair “Identity" with “The White Umbrella” and ask students to discuss how the narrator of “The White Umbrella” attempts to be a “flower” rather than a “weed.” What does it mean to accept yourself as you are? How do both texts explore how this can be challenging at times? When does the narrator of “The White Umbrella” begin to accept herself in the story?
Chiron, the Wisest Centaur
- Meredith Engel
In Meredith Engel’s “Chiron: The Wisest Centaur,” Hermes, Messenger of the Gods, interviews Chiron the Centaur about his mentoring of young heroes.Pair “Identity” with “Chiron: The Wisest Centaur” and ask students to discuss how Chiron could be considered a weed over a flower. In what ways is Chiron rejected by many of the people in his life? Why is this? In the poem, the weed describes being happier than the flower. Do students think Chiron found more happiness being true to himself?