by Virginia Driving Hawk Sneve
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.
- Amy Tan
In “Fish Cheeks,” which is about a Chinese American girl who feels embarrassed by her family during dinner, Tan explores how culture can be essential to a person’s identity.Pair “Fish Cheeks” with “The Medicine Bag” and ask students to discuss Martin and Amy Tan's relationship with their family members and their customs. How does Martin react when his grandpa comes to visit? How does this compare to Tan's reaction to the food her family cooks? How do Martin and Tan come to accept their cultures and the traditions associated with them?
The Negro Speaks of Rivers
- Langston Hughes
The speaker in this famous Langston Hughes poem uses symbolism to explain the connection they feel between their ancestry and identity.Pair “The Negro Speaks of Rivers” with “The Medicine Bag” and ask students to discuss how both texts explore the connection between generations. How does Grandpa use the medicine bag to feel connected to his family? How does this compare to how the speaker feels connected to the past through rivers in “The Negro Speaks of Rivers”?
- Nikki Giovanni
In Nikki Giovanni’s “Legacies,” a girl’s grandmother wants to teach her a recipe.Pair “Legacies” with “The Medicine Bag” and ask students to discuss how both texts explore the practice of passing something down. What is the significance of Grandpa passing down the medicine bag to Martin? How does this compare to the little girl's grandmother's desire to teach her how to make rolls in “Legacies”? How do the young characters in both texts struggle to accept what is being passed down to them by older generations?
- Hayes Davis
In the Hayes Davis’ poem “Etiquette,” a speaker describes their struggles with their stutter.Pair “The Medicine Bag” with “Etiquette” and ask students to discuss what the speakers in the two texts are embarrassed about. How does the narrator in “The Medicine Bag” eventually grow to accept the things he was previously embarrassed about? How does this compare to the speaker’s approach to their insecurities in “Etiquette”? How does this embarrassment negatively impact them in the two texts?
Día de los Muertos Comes to Life Across the Mexican Diaspora
- Isabel Dobrin
In the informational text “Día De Los Muertos Comes To Life Across The Mexican Diaspora,” Isabel Dobrin discusses the holiday also known as Day of the Dead, its history, and how it is celebrated.Pair “The Medicine Bag” with “Día De Los Muertos Comes To Life Across The Mexican Diaspora” and ask students to discuss how the two texts explore the value of traditions. What does the medicine bag mean to Martin’s grandpa? How does this compare to the practices common for Day of the Dead? How do both traditions help people face the loss of a loved one?
Army Code Talkers
- The United States Government
In the informational text “Army Code Talkers,” the author discusses how American Indian soldiers developed codes based on their native languages to be used in WWI and WWII.Pair “The Medicine Bag” with “Army Code Talkers” to provide students with a short story about a boy who is visited by his Sioux grandpa. Ask students to discuss what each text shows about Native American traditions and languages. What have they done and continue to do to preserve these traditions? In what ways do the two texts emphasize the importance of preserving Native American culture?