Paired Texts > Shells
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 Heidi Stemple's memoir "Moving Home," she describes making the decision to move home with her family after her father falls ill.Pair “Moving Home” with “Shells” and ask students to discuss their common themes. What do the characters in each story lose? In “Moving Home,” in order to make their decision, the narrator and her children focus on what they will gain from their move. What can Michael gain from living with Aunt Esther? Does Michael’s story end well even if it isn’t perfect? Why or why not?
This article from Teaching Kids News highlights the global outpouring of support France received after 139 people were killed and hundreds more injured in a terrorist attack in France in November 2015.Pair “Outpouring of Support for France” with “Shells” to provide students with an account of how people support each other during times of tragedy. How did cities around the world share their support for Paris? Does Aunt Esther show support for Michael? Many people opened their homes around the world to those in France who may have needed a safe place, calling it an open door. Do you think Aunt Esther has an open door for Michael? Why or why not?
In "Mercury's Sandals," a girl shows her new stepbrother how family should treat one another.Pair “Shells” with “Mercury’s Sandals” and have students discuss how both Michael and Primus adjust to their new lives. How are Aunt Esther and Arcela similar?
In "Thirteen and a Half," a thirteen-year-old narrator witnesses their classmate come to terms with the death of her pet bird.Pair “Shells” with “Thirteen and a Half” and ask students to compare Michael and Ashley. How do their respective pets help them to grow up? How do Aunt Esther in “Shells” and the narrator in “Thirteen and a Half” help Michael and Ashley cope with death?
In "Sabeel's Shell," a young boy finds a shell at the beach and later finds out it is a hermit crab.Pair “Shells” with “Sabeel’s Shell” and ask students to notice how both stories describe hermit crabs coming out of their shells. What does Michael learn about hermit crabs coming out of their shells in “Shells”? What does Sabeel learn about hermit crabs coming out of their shells in “Sabeel’s Shell”? Do you think Sabeel from “Sabeel’s Shells” would buy a hermit crab from the pet store like Michael did in “Shells”? Why or why not?
In "Broomball," Jade has trouble adjusting to her new community after moving to Minnesota from California.Pair “Shells” with “Broomball” and ask students to discuss how the characters face different problems when moving to a new place. What is Michael’s problem in “Shells”? What is Jade’s problem in “Broomball”? How are Michael and Jade’s problems alike? How are they different? How do Michael and Jade solve their problems?