Paired Texts > Soccer Speaks Many Languages
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.
This account comes from a 16-year-old Syrian girl named Amira and details the past three years of her life in a refugee camp in the neighboring country of Lebanon.Pair “Diary of a Teenage Refugee” with “Soccer Speaks Many Languages” to provide students with another person’s experience as a refugee. How do Amira’s experiences living in a refugee camp compare to Innocent’s experiences? How do you think playing a sport or game with the other children at the refugee camp could improve Amira’s time at the camp?
In Julia Alvarez's short story "Names/Nombres," the author explores the various names she has received over the years.Pair “Names/Nombres” with “Soccer Speaks Many Languages” and ask students to compare Julia and Innocent’s experiences moving to a new country. What obstacles did they encounter moving to the United States at young ages? How did Julia and Innocent adjust to living in the United States?
In Walter Dean Myers' short story "Sometimes a Dream Needs a Push," a boy must change his approach to basketball when he loses the ability to walk.Pair “Sometimes a Dream Needs a Push” with “Soccer Speaks Many Languages” and ask students to discuss how sports play an important role in the two texts. Why are sports meaningful to Chris and Innocent in each text? How do sports help Chris and Innocent adjust to changes in their lives?
In Karen O'Connor's "Free at Last: A Kurdish Family in America," O'Connor talks to a Kurdish family about their experiences as refugees.Pair “Soccer Speaks Many Languages” with “Free at Last: A Kurdish Family in America” and ask students to discuss how life in a refugee camp is described in the two texts. What additional obstacles do refugees encounter as they try to find a safe home? How do the two refugee families make the best of their situation and life in America?
In Marie-Louise Fitzpatrick's short story "Gren's Ghost," a boy agrees to meet his classmate at a castle, unsure of what to expect.Pair “Soccer Speaks Many Languages” with “Gren’s Ghost” and ask students to discuss how friendships form. How does soccer help bring people together from different backgrounds in “Soccer Speaks Many Languages”? How does this compare to Finn and Gren’s ability to find common ground? How do both texts explore the benefits of friends or companions?
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 “Soccer Speaks Many Languages” with “These Pumpkins Sure Can Kick!” to provide students with another text about kids benefiting from playing soccer. How did playing soccer help Innocent Ndayizeye while he was in a refugee camp and later in America? How did the Pumpkins’ soccer team help create positive change in Namibia? How do students think players benefit mentally and physically from soccer?
In "Laura's Key," a young girl experiences failure on the soccer field, but with the help of her family and friends, she finds resilience and learns that growth and improvement are more important than winning.Pair “Soccer Speaks Many Languages” with “Laura’s Key” and ask students to consider the different ways that sports bring people together. How did Innocent’s and Laura’s experiences with soccer change their points of view about themselves and the people around them? How did soccer help Innocent and Laura both overcome and persevere through challenges?
In "Pelé's Beautiful Game," the author discusses the career of one of the greatest soccer players of all time, Pelé.Pair “Soccer Speaks Many Languages” with “Pelé’s Beautiful Game” and ask students to discuss how both texts talk about the international connection to soccer. Why is soccer important to Innocent in “Soccer Speaks Many Languages”? How does the game help Innocent? How does the author talk about different countries' connection to soccer in “Pelé’s Beautiful Game”? How do both texts show that soccer is a game that is loved in places all over the world?
In "Refugee," Britannica Kids discusses refugees and shares reasons why they were forced to leave their homes.Pair “Soccer Speaks Many Languages” with “Refugee” and ask students to talk about life in refugee camps. What is life like for refugees as described in the text “Refugee”? How is the refugee camp in “Soccer Speaks Many Languages” described? How are the kids in “Soccer Speaks Many Languages” similar or different from you? How did people from around the world help the kids in “Soccer Speaks Many Languages”?
In "Bilingual," the speaker talks about the benefits of speaking English and Spanish.Pair “Soccer Speaks Many Languages” with “Bilingual” and ask students to discuss the theme of communication. How did soccer help Innocent make friends in “Soccer Speaks Many Languages”? How does the speaker use both Spanish and English in “Bilingual”? How do the texts show how language can divide or connect people?