by CommonLit Staff
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 Fox and the Lion
- 620-560 B.C.
Aesop was an Ancient Greek storyteller and slave credited with a number of fables now collectively known as Aesop’s Fables. In this fable, a fox, never having seen a lion before, experiences fear and prejudice at the sight of one.Pair “The Fox and the Lion” with “The Blue-Eyed/Brown-Eyed Exercise” and ask students to find the similarities. Then, lead a class discussion about the lessons implied in these two texts. How do differences lead to misunderstanding? How does misunderstanding lead to prejudice?
- Saul McLeod
In this article, McLeod discusses classical conditioning, a way of changing a person’s behavior by exposing them to different experiences, and experiments carried out using this method. One 1920 experiment showed that classical conditioning can be used to create a phobia, not only in animals but potentially in humans as well.Pair “Classical Conditioning” with “The Blue-Eyed/Brown-Eyed Exercise” to show students the ways in which conditioning can be harmful to individuals and societies.
A Teen and A Trolley Reveal Society's Dark Side
- Bethany Brookshire
In 2015, a high school senior named Tiffany Sun conducted a social science experiment and presented her results at the Intel Science Talent Search in Washington, D.C. This article reports on this social science experiment and what it revealed about society's ugly hidden biases.Pair “The Blue-Eyed Brown-Eyed Exercise” with “A Teen and A Trolley Reveals Society’s Dark Side” and ask students to compare the results of these two social science experiments.
Excerpt from Honky
- Dalton Conley
Sociologist Dalton Conley reflects in this essay on how growing up as a white boy in a lower-income community of color affects his identity.Pair “Excerpt from Honky” with “The Blue-Eyed, Brown-Eyed Exercise” and ask students to discuss how society can make people feel superior or inferior based on arbitrary identifiers.
Showdown in Little Rock
This informational text explores the 1957 incident in Little Rock, Arkansas where white segregationists and the governor illegally tried to block black students from integrating into white schools.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.