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 Blue-Eyed, Brown-Eyed Exercise
- CommonLit Staff
In this article, students can learn about the well-known experiment from the 1960s that was used to teach young children about prejudice.Pair “Showdown in Little Rock” with “The Blue-Eyed, Brown-Eyed Exercise” and ask students to discuss the likely emotional impact of discrimination and segregation on the Little Rock Nine, especially in light of how the nine black students were instructed to remain calm in response to protests and abuse.
For King's Adviser, Fulfilling The Dream 'Cannot Wait'
- Michele Norris
On August 28, 1963, approximately 250,000 people participated in the March on Washington for Jobs and Freedom. It was at this event where Martin Luther King, Jr. delivered his famous, “I Have a Dream” speech. In this special series from NPR’s Morning Edition, reporter Michelle Norris looks back on this important moment in Civil Rights history.Pair “Showdown in Little Rock” with “For Kings Adviser, Fulfilling the Dream Cannot Wait” and ask students to discuss the urgency of integration in Little Rock amid such protest in light of Jones’ view of the civil rights movement.
Does It Matter If Schools Are Racially Integrated?
- Michel Martin
This NPR interview, broadcast 60 years after Brown vs. Board of Education, discusses the necessity of integration in our modern society, and what remains to be done to improve the state of American education.Pair “Showdown in Little Rock” with “Does it Matter if Schools are Racially Integrated?” and ask students to discuss the need for racial integration in education, as well as in society at large.
The Civil Rights Act of 1964
- National Park Service
This informational text discusses the events that led up to the passage of the Civil Rights Act of 1964.Pair “Showdown in Little Rock” with “The Civil Rights Act of 1964” and ask students to discuss previous attempts to combat discrimination and segregation in the United States. How do both texts explore the relationship between the federal government and the states? How did Brown v. Board of Education pave the way for the progress of civil rights? What additional work was necessary to achieve equality following the Brown v. Board of Education ruling?
Loving Decision: 40 Years of Legal Interracial Unions
The informational text “Loving Decision: 40 Years of Legal Interracial Unions” discusses the court case that invalidated laws preventing interracial marriages, as well as the status of interracial relationships today.Pair “Showdown in Little Rock” with “Loving Decision: 40 Years of Legal Interracial Unions” and ask students to discuss how these texts comment on how change is achieved. What do these two texts reveal about impact of Supreme Court decisions, specifically on prejudices?
- Jessica McBirney
In the informational text “Louis Armstrong,” Jessica McBirney describes the life and contributions of the famous trumpet player.Pair “Showdown in Little Rock” with “Louis Armstrong” to provide students with additional information on the event that encouraged Armstrong to publically condemn segregation. Why do students think this event prompted Armstrong to speak up? How do students think Armstrong’s career was influenced by racial tension during this time?
Plessy vs. Ferguson
- Jessica McBirney
In the informational text “Plessy v. Ferguson,” Jessica McBirney discusses how the Plessy v. Ferguson decision impacted racial segregation in the United States.Pair “Showdown in Little Rock” with “Plessy v. Ferguson” to provide students with information about America after race-based segregation was made illegal. Ask students to discuss how America transitioned from Jim Crow period to the end of legal segregation. How do both texts explore how people attempted to keep African Americans in positions of little power?
The Youngest of the Little Rock Nine Speaks Out About Holding onto History
- Allison Keyes
In the informational text “The Youngest of the Little Rock Nine Speaks Out About Holding onto History,” Carlotta Walls LaNier discusses her experiences attending the formerly all-white Little Rock Central High School.Pair “Showdown in Little Rock” with “The Youngest of the Little Rock Nine Speaks Out About Holding onto History” to provide students with additional information about the Little Rock Crisis in 1957. Ask students to discuss how both texts explore people’s resistance towards integrating public schools. What changed to allow the Little Rock Nine to attend Central High? How did this change public opinion about integration?