by Josh Bean
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 Yellow Wallpaper
- Charlotte Perkins Gilman
“The Yellow Wallpaper” is a groundbreaking short story from 1892 told through journal entries that chronicles a woman’s struggle in dealing with male physicians who will not take her illness seriously.Pair “The Yellow Wallpaper” with “Should Girls Be Allowed to Play High-School Football?” to provide two different takes on what it means to be female from different eras. Ask students, how has the role of women changed over the years? What issues have remained controversial over centuries? What does it mean to be a girl in today’s world?
Female WWII Pilots: The Original Fly Girls
- Susan Stamberg
This article is a production of National Public Radio (NPR), written by Susan Stamberg. During WWII, a shortage of male pilots in the United States led to the formation of a group called WASP — the Women Airforce Service Pilots. Stamberg reports on this relatively little-known group, and its struggle for national and military recognition.Pair “Should Girls Be Allowed to Play High School Football?” with “Female WWII Pilots” and ask students to consider how gender roles and expectations may still be affecting our world. How much have times changed? What is different, and what remains the same?
The Golden Lotus: A History of Foot Binding
- Jessica McBirney
This informational text introduces the practice of foot binding in China, its history, and the resistance to it.Pair these two texts in the theme “Men and Women.” Ask students whose point of view matters in each issue, foot binding and co-ed football teams.
On the Cultivation of Virtue, Woman’s Work, and Politeness
- Zhao Ban
- c. 49 - c. 120
This first-century text written by China’s first female historian shares some of the principles that women should follow to serve their husbands.Zhao Ban thinks women should avoid going outside or being around boys and always be demure. Today, such advice sounds a little extreme, but consider the arguments against allowing women to play on co-ed football teams. How different are these arguments about a woman’s place from Zhao Ban’s opinions?
The Princess and the Pea
- Hans Christian Andersen
In the popular fairytale “The Princess and the Pea,” a royal family uses an odd test to determine if a young woman who claims to be a princess really is one.Pair “The Princess and the Pea” with “Should Girls be Allowed to Play High School Football?” and ask students to compare the way in which each text asks how we should define the roles of men and women in society. How does the text on football question the ideas about gender in the fairytale?
- Gary Soto
In Gary Soto’s short story “The Challenge,” a boy hopes to impress the new girl at school by playing racquetball with her.Pair “Should Girls Be Allowed to Play High School Football” with “The Challenge” and ask students to discuss the role gender plays in these two texts. Does gender influence how good an individual is at a sport? Why or why not? What could be the possible disadvantages of making assumptions based on gender?
Aurelia Dobre: World Champion Gymnast
- Chris Woods
In Chris Woods’ poem “Aurelia Dobre: World Champion Gymnast,” a speaker describes watching a gymnast perform.Pair “Should Girls Be Allowed to Play High School Football?” with “Aurelia Dobre: World Champion Gymnast” and ask students to discuss whether or not gender should be used to determine someone’s athletic ability. How does the poem about Aurelia Dobre influence students’ opinions on the debate proposed in “Should Girls Be Allowed to Play High School Football?”
Most Valuable Player
- Sarah Van Arsdale
In Sarah Van Arsdale’s poem “Most Valuable Player,” a speaker describes what it would be like to have a trophy.Pair “Should Girls Be allowed to Play High School Football” with “Most Valuable Player” and ask students to discuss how girls’ experiences in sports differ from boys’. After reading both texts, ask students to discuss why having the chance to be involved in sports is important, regardless of gender.
The Lighthouse Lamp
- Margaret E. Sangster
In Margaret E. Sangster’s poem “The Lighthouse Lamp,” a brave girl saves sailors during a storm when she keeps the lamp burning in her family’s lighthouse.Pair “Should Girls Be Allowed to Play High School Football” with “The Lighthouse Lamp,” and ask students to discuss how gender impacts people’s expectations of others. Why do people question whether or not girls should be able to play football? How does this compare to the mother’s doubts about her daughter tending to the lighthouse lamp?
Daisy Low Grows the Girl Scouts
- Natasha Wing
In the informational text “Daisy Low Grows the Girl Scouts,” Natasha Wing discusses how Daisy Low founded the Girl Scouts and contributed to their success.Pair “Should Girls Be Allowed to Play High School Football?” with “Daisy Low Grows the Girl Scouts” and ask students to discuss how girls are often treated differently than boys. Why do students think that an organization for Boy Scouts was established before the Girl Guides? Do students think that Girl Scouts should learn the same skills as Boy Scouts? Why or why not?
- Fiona Waters
In the informational text “Granuaile,” Fiona Waters discusses a female leader and pirate in Ireland who lived during the 16th century.Pair “Should Girls Be Allowed to Play High School Football?” with “Granuaile” and ask students to discuss how boys and girls are treated differently in the two texts. Why do some people question whether or not girls should be allowed to play football in high school? How does this compare to why Granuaile was not allowed to be a leader of the O’Flaherty clan?
These Pumpkins Sure Can Kick!
- Patricia Cuff
In the informational text “These Pumpkins Sure Can Kick!” Patricia Cuff discusses the establishment of the first girls’ soccer team in Katutura, a small city in Namibia, Africa.Pair “Should Girls Be Allowed to Play High School Football?” with “These Pumpkins Sure Can Kick!” and ask students to compare how the female athletes measure up to the male athletes in each text. Does either text support the need for separate female sports’ teams? How do you think the Pumpkins would respond to being told they are a distraction for male athletes?
Alice Coachman Jumps for the Sky
- Barbara Kramer
In the informational text “Alice Coachman Jumps for the Sky,” Barbara Kramer discusses the Olympic athlete Alice Coachman, who became the first African American woman to win a gold medal in the Olympics.Pair “Should Girls Be Allowed to Play High School Football?” with “Alice Coachman Jumps for the Sky” and ask students to discuss how women are treated in sports. Why was Coachman encouraged to “act like a lady” rather than play with the boys? How does this compare to the controversy around girls playing football? Do students think that gender should determine the activities that people are allowed to engage in? Why or why not?
Many Hits, Rather Than A Big One, Pose Greatest Concussion Risk
- Nancy Shute
In the article “Many Hits, Rather Than A Big One, Pose Greatest Concussion Risk,” Nancy Shute discusses a study that explores the effects that several hits to the head can have on brain activity.Pair “Should Girls Be Allowed to Play High School Football” with “Many Hits, Rather Than A Big One, Pose Greatest Concussion Risk” and ask students to discuss the role of gender in sports. Do you think a girl’s vulnerability to a concussion, as discussed in “Many Hits, Rather Than A Big One, Pose Greatest Concussion Risk,” should influence whether or not she can play football? Why or why not?
¿Debería permitirse a las niñas jugar al fútbol americano en la escuela secundaria?
- Josh Bean
“Should Girls Be Allowed to Play High School Football?” by Josh Bean is also available in Spanish. Click here to assign the Spanish version of this lesson. Question sets and other components may differ.
Drum Dream Girl
- Margarita Engle
In “Drum Dream Girl,” a young girl dreams of playing drums in a society that only allows boys to play the drums.Pair “Should Girls Be Allowed To Play High School?” with “Drum Dream Girl” and ask students to discuss the limitations placed on people based on gender. Is it fair to stop someone from doing an activity because of their gender? Why? Why do you think some people think girls cannot or should not do what boys can? What are girls revealing through their response to these limitations?