by Yesenia Montilla
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.
The Negro Speaks of RiversLangston 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 “Maps” and ask students to discuss the significance of rivers in the two poems. How is the physical land connected to the speakers’ identities in the two poems? How do the speakers in the two poems regard rivers
SympathyPaul Laurence Dunbar
In Paul Laurence Dunbar's poem "Sympathy," Dunbar uses the experiences of a caged to bird to discuss the oppression of African Americans.Pair “Sympathy” with “Maps” and ask students to discuss how the speakers of both texts feel imprisoned. How do the lines discussed in “Maps” act as a cage to the speaker? What is the caged bird being kept from in “Sympathy”? How does this compare to what the speaker is being kept from in “Maps”?
Excerpt from Trail of Tears DiaryJobe Alexander & Mary Hill
The Trail of Tears is the name given to the forced relocation of Native American nations following the Indian Removal Act of 1830. The removal included many members of tribes who did not wish to assimilate. Many Native Americans suffered from disease and exposure, and somewhere between 2,000-6,000 Cherokee died on the trail. The Trail of Tears Diary includes interviews that reveals the extraordinary resilience of the Native American nations during the trail.Pair “Excerpt from Trail of Tears Diary” with “Maps” and ask students to discuss how both texts explore the expansion. What happens when people take over land that was already occupied by others? What other moments in history can students think of when one nation took over land already occupied by a people?
The Border: A Double SonnetAlberto Ríos
In Alberto Ríos' poem "The Border: A Double Sonnet," a speaker describes a border.Pair “Maps” with “The Border: A Double Sonnet” and ask students to discuss how borders affect people emotionally. What are the similarities between the speakers in both poems? How does time and hope play a role in both poems? What are the similarities and differences between the speakers’ tones?