by Billy Collins
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 Land of Story-BooksRobert Louis Stevenson
In this poem, Robert Louis Stevenson showcases his whimsical writing of children's literature. The narrator—a young child—describes his or her immersion in imaginative play, taking the reader along for the journey.Pair "On Turning Ten" with "The Land of Story Books" and ask students to compare how the poet develops the theme of growing up in each work.
My Lost YouthHenry Wadsworth Longfellow
Henry Wadsworth Longfellow (1807-1882) was an American poet and educator. In his poem "My Lost Youth," the narrator reflects upon his boyhood near the sea, recalling it with nostalgia and painting a picture of beauty.Pair "On Turning Ten" with "The Land of Story-Books" and ask students to analyze the speaker's longing tone in each work.
Bullying in Early AdolescenceDorothy L. Espelage
This research article explores the roles that peers play in promoting bullying in adolescence, beyond the role of "bully" and "victim."Pair “On Turning Ten” with “Bullying in Early Adolescence” and ask students to discuss how the transition described in the poem may be reflected in this informational text. How does the tone of the poem capture the stresses and feelings described by this research review? Discuss how literature and poetry can help inform social science perspectives about contemporary issues.
Growing DownShel Silverstein
In Shel Silverstein's poem "Growing Down," a speaker encourages a grown up in their town to try "growing down."Pair “On Turning Ten” with “Growing Down” and ask students to discuss how the adults in the two poems approach growing up. What aspects of youth do the two poems explore? What do they find valuable about it? How do the two poems depict being a grown up?
The Clock ManShel Silverstein
In Shel Silverstein's poem "The Clock Man," a child is questioned about how much he would pay for more time.Pair “On Turning Ten” with “The Clock Man” and ask students to discuss how the two poems describe aging. What aspects of growing up do the characters dislike? What symbols do they use to highlight time in the poems?
"The Worst Birthday" from Harry Potter and the Chamber of SecretsJ.K. Rowling
After a year spent at Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizadry, Harry Potter returns to his non-magical family for the summer, where he must endure his family treating him badly because they fear his powers.Pair "The Worst Birthday" from Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets with "On Turning Ten" and ask students to compare the themes of the passages about some of the pitfalls of growing up. Why does growing up mean having to deal with disappointments? What disappointments does Harry face as he grows up?
On Winning the Coloring Contest in Second GradeAnna Hodges
In Anna Hodges' poem "On Winning the Coloring Contest," a speaker describes winning a coloring contest.Pair “On Turning Ten” with “On Winning the Coloring Contest in the Second Grade” and ask students to discuss the different ways in which Hodges’ poem is influenced by “On Turning Ten.” How does the structure of “On Winning the Coloring Contest in the Second Grade” resemble “On Turning Ten”? What similar feelings do the speakers in both poems experience? How do both poems address the theme of growing up?
In "Marigolds," Lizabeth remembers the moment she passed from childhood innocence into adulthood after destroying a neighbor's bed of marigolds.Pair “On Turning Ten” with “Marigolds” and ask students to examine how the speaker in the poem and Lizabeth feel about getting older and leaving childhood behind. What are the similarities in how they view the loss of childhood and innocence? Ask students when they felt as if they left childhood behind.