Paired Texts > The Leap
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 Linda Pastan's poem "Accidents," a woman loses her child and contemplates the nature of tragic accidents.Pair “Accidents” with “The Leap” and ask students to discuss the love between a mother and their child. How is the speaker in “Accidents” impacted by the loss of her child? How does this poem help students understand what the mother in “The Leap” is willing to do for her child? How does the mother in “The Leap” protect her child?
In "Mother to Son," a mother utilizes metaphor to communicate the struggles she's faced and the importance of perseverance to her son.Pair “Mother to Son” with “The Leap” to provide students with the perspective of a mother, rather than their child. What challenges does the narrator in “The Leap” depict their mother facing throughout her life? How does the mother in “Mother to Son” illustrate encountering her own obstacles? If the mother in “The Leap” were to offer advice to the narrator, what do you think she would say?
William Ernest Henley (1849-1903) was an English poet, critic, and editor. His best known poem is "Invictus," published in 1875, which he wrote just following the amputation of his foot due to tuberculosis.Pair “Invictus” with “The Leap” and ask students to discuss how the narrator portrays their mother making decisions and living her life in “The Leap.” How does the speaker in “Invictus” describe encountering obstacles? How does this compare to how the narrator’s mother faces her problems? Do students think that the narrator’s mother would agree with the sentiment “I am the master of my fate, / I am the captain of my soul”?
In Daniel Beaty's poem "Dance Mama Dance," the speaker discusses his single mother and how he wishes she would dance.Pair “Dance Mama Dance” with “The Leap” and ask students to compare how the speakers of the two texts describe their mothers. What characteristics do the speakers emphasize about their mothers? What kind of sacrifices did the mothers make for their children in the two texts? How were these sacrifices motivated by love? What tones do the speakers use in the two texts when discussing their mothers’ sacrifices?
In Alice Walker's short story "Everyday Use," a daughter comes home for a family visit with a new understanding of her heritage.Pair “Everyday Use” with “The Leap” and ask students to discuss how the two short stories explore family. How does Maggie's relationship with her mother compare to the relationship between the speaker and their mother in “The Leap”? How do the actions of the mothers in the two stories shape the identities of their children?
In "'Help Him Up!': A Witness's Account of Panic on a Subway Platform," Michael Wilson describes how people on the platform react when a man falls onto New York City subway tracks.Pair “‘Help Him Up!’: A Witness’s Account of Panic on a Subway Platform” with “The Leap” and ask students to discuss the nature of heroism. Is the mother in “The Leap” and David Capuzzo motivated by the same forces? Which person’s actions are more surprising? Which person’s actions are more heroic?