by Jessica McBirney
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.
Showdown in Little Rock
This informational text explores the 1957 incident in Little Rock, Arkansas where white segregationists and the governor illegally tried to block black students from integrating into white schools.Pair “Showdown in Little Rock” with “Louis Armstrong” to provide students with additional information on the event that encouraged Armstrong to publically condemn segregation. Why do students think this event prompted Armstrong to speak up? How do students think Armstrong’s career was influenced by racial tension during this time?
The Cotton Club
- Jessica McBirney
In the informational text “The Cotton Club,” Jessica McBirney describes the popular club in Harlem where several African American entertainers performed and gained notoriety.Pair “Louis Armstrong” with “The Cotton Club” to provide students with additional information on an influential musician that played at the Cotton Club. After reading about the representation of African American entertainers during this time, why do students think Armstrong kept his social opinions to himself?
Move to the Beat
- Colin Hickey
In the informational text “Move to the Beat,” Colin Hickey discusses a West African musician who teaches kids about music by playing for them.Pair “Louis Armstrong” with “Move to the Beat” to provide students with another text about the impacts of music. Ask students to discuss how jazz music contributed to the African American community in the text “Louis Armstrong.” How does this compare to the importance of music in West Africa?