by Marcelo Gleiser for NPR
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.
- CommonLit Staff
“Herd Behavior” describes how individuals change when they are part of a crowd.Pair “Herd Behavior” with “The Madness of Humanity Part 3: Tribalism” and ask student to discuss how herd behavior and tribalism are similar social phenomena. Why do humans participate in both? What are the benefits and disadvantages of herd behavior and tribalism?
Thresholds of Violence
- Malcolm Gladwell
In “Thresholds of Violence,” Malcolm Gladwell explores the social structures that encourage people to act violently when they normally wouldn’t.Pair “Thresholds of Violence” with “The Madness of Humanity Part 3: Tribalism” and ask students to discuss why people participate in violent or extreme behavior. How are followers and leaders established in these two texts?
United and Divided: How Religion Drove Politics in Pre-Modern Europe
- Shelby Ostergaard
In the informational text “United and Divided: How Religion Drove Politics in Pre-Modern Europe,” Shelby Ostergaard explores the important role that religion has played in shaping Europe.Pair “The Madness of Humanity Part 3: Tribalism” with “United and Divided: How Religion Drove Politics in Pre-Modern Europe” and ask students to discuss whether or not the violence shown during religious shifts in Europe are examples of tribalism. Why do students think religious identity was so important to European people during the Middle Ages?
- Edwidge Danticat
In Edwidge Danticat’s short story “Testimonial,” a young woman considers her duties to a sisterhood she is expected to join following her mother’s death.Pair “The Madness of Humanity Part 3: Tribalism” with “Testimonial” and ask students to discuss how group dynamics can encourage people to act as they normally wouldn’t. Do you think the narrator’s mother would have killed the narrator’s brother if she wasn’t part of the sisterhood? Why or why not? How did the sisterhood influence her mother's beliefs?