by Pedro Pietri
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 Julia Alvarez's short story "Names/Nombres," the author explores the various names she has received over the years.Pair “Names/Nombres” with “Puerto Rican Obituary” and asks students to discuss how both texts portray the experiences of Latin American identities in America. What obstacles do the two texts focus on? How do the differing perspectives of the two texts contribute to the ideas that are explored?
America and IAnzia Yezierska
Anzia Yezierska (1880-1970) was a Jewish-American immigrant and novelist known for her writing on immigration, assimilation, and Jewish-American lives. "America and I" is Yezierska's short essay about her struggles adapting to her new country.Pair “America and I” with “Puerto Rican Obituary” and ask students to discuss how both texts describe America. How does the dream of America compare to the reality? According to the texts, who is allowed to succeed in America and how are certain identities kept from succeeding?
Mexican Migrant Workers in the 20th CenturyJessica McBirney
This informational text describes the hard lives of Mexican-Americans and immigrants who became migrant workers throughout the 20th century in the United States.Pair “Mexican Migrant Workers in the 20th Century” with “Puerto Rican Obituary” and ask students to discuss how the two texts explore the treatment of immigrants in the United States. What did people who moved to the United States expect and how did this compare to their reality? How do immigrants’ race affect their treatment in the United States? Why might Puerto Ricans, who are American citizens, be treated like immigrants?
Excerpt from The Harvest GypsiesJohn Steinbeck
In this excerpt from John Steinbeck's article The Harvest Gypsies, Steinbeck discusses the experiences of migrant workers in America, specifically California.Pair “Puerto Rican Obituary” with “Excerpt from The Harvest Gypsies” and ask students to discuss how people who moved to America were treated. In what ways were immigrants prevented from achieving the American Dream? How do students think migrant workers’ expectations of America compared to their real experiences?
Montreal 1962Shauna Singh Baldwin
In Shauna Singh Baldwin's short story "Montreal 1962," a woman who has recently moved to Canada with her husband describes washing his turbans.Pair “Puerto Rican Obituary” with “Montreal 1962” to provide students with a poem about the struggles of succeeding in America. Ask students to discuss what the characters in the poem expected of America. How does this compare to what the narrator and her husband expected of Canada in “Montreal 1962”? How do the characters in both texts encounter obstacles as they struggle to succeed?
HERS; A Puerto Rican StewEsmeralda Santiago
In "HERS; A Puerto Rican Stew," Esmeralda Santiago reflects on her identity and sense of self as she prepares to cook a Latin American dish.Pair “Puerto Rican Obituary” with “HERS; A Puerto Rican Stew” and ask students to compare how both texts depict Puerto Ricans’ experiences living in New York. According to the poem, how were Puerto Ricans treated in New York? How was the narrator in “HERS; A Puerto Rican Stew” treated while she lived in the United States? How does the speaker in “Puerto Rican Obituary” view success in America for Puerto Ricans? How does this compare to Mami’s beliefs about success in America in “HERS; A Puerto Rican Stew”?