Paired Texts > Masks
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.
In Shel Silverstein's poem "Underface," a speaker describes the face they show to the world and the one that hides underneath.Pair “Masks” with “Underface” and ask students to discuss how Shel Silverstein explores identity in the two poems. What are the disadvantages to hiding who you are, as explored in the two poems? How are the two poems similar in style and tone?
In Leeann Zouras' short story "Athena and the Dandelions," a girl is embarrassed that her Greek family eats dandelions.Pair “Masks” with “Athena and the Dandelions” and ask students to discuss how both texts explore hiding one’s identity. How does Athena attempt to hide who she is in “Athena and the Dandelions”? How do both texts explore the benefits of being open and honest about who you are?
In Tracy Stewart's short story "The Champion of Quiet," a girl who is often picked last in gym class volunteers to be a team captain.Pair “Masks” with “The Champion of Quiet” and ask students to consider whether or not Maggie was wearing a “mask” by not speaking up. Do students think that Maggie’s classmates were able to get to know her very well when she remained quiet? How does Maggie remove her mask in “The Champion of Quiet”?
In Karen DelleCava's short story "Too Many Vegetables" Patrick and his dad give the extra zucchinis from their garden to their neighbors.Pair “Masks” with “Too Many Vegetables” and ask students to discuss how the story in “Too Many Vegetables” would have been different if the characters responded to each other like the two characters described in the poem. How could the characters in the poem have benefited from reaching out like the neighbors in the story?
In "The Girl Who Listened with Her Feet," Eve Nadel Catarevas tells the story of Laura Bridgman, the first deaf-blind person to learn to read and write a language.Pair “Masks” with “The Girl Who Listened with Her Feet” and have students discuss why some people might want to hide that they are different. How can we recognize and support those who are different from ourselves? How can we find commonalities between ourselves and others?
In the story "A Secret Code," a girl learns to be proud of her family at her school's Open House.Pair “Masks” with “A Secret Code” and have students think about how sharing parts of themselves can help build friendships. In “Masks,” what were the people trying to hide? What was Amy trying to hide in “A Secret Code”? How do the people in “Masks” stop themselves from creating a friendship? How does Amy’s sharing in “A Secret Code'' help her build a friendship with Evelyn?
In "The Friend Who Changed My Life," Pam Muñoz Ryan reflects on the time she stood up to a bully and formed some unlikely friendships.Pair “Masks” with “The Friend Who Changed My Life,” and ask students to compare the characters in the poem to the narrator in the memoir. How are the characters in “Masks” like the narrator in the beginning of “The Friend Who Changed My Life”? How is the narrator in the memoir different from the characters in the poem by the end of the passage? Why does she change? What can the characters in the poem learn from the characters in the passage?