by Terence Powderly
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.
Excerpt from The Jungle
- Upton Sinclair
Upton Sinclair (1878-1968) was a famous twentieth century poet who often experimented with different genres. The Jungle, published in 1906, exposed the harsh conditions of the meatpacking industry in Chicago and other similar industrial cities. Public pressure during the aftermath of the book’s publication led to the passage of the Meat Inspection Act, which helps ensure that meat is packaged under sanitary conditions.Pair “The Plea for Eight Hours” with "Excerpts from The Jungle" to teach students about the different political debates happening in the labor industry in the late 17th century to the early 18th century. What role do labor unions play in our economy?
The Song of The Shirt
- Thomas Hood
"Song of the Shirt" (1843) by Thomas Hood is a lyrical, repetitive poem narrated from the perspective of someone in the working class.Pair “The Song of the Shirt” with “The Plea for Eight Hours,” and ask students to compare each authors’ methods for advocating for social change.
From Lithuania to the Chicago Stockyards
- Antanas Kaztauskis
In this short memoir, a Lithuanian immigrant tells of his hopes, struggles, and successes throughout his experience coming to America.Pair “From Lithuania to the Chicago Stockyards” to “The Plea for Eight Hours” to discuss the role of labor unions in changing America into the nation it is today. Think about the work conditions which led to the formation of unions and consider whether what they were asking for seemed reasonable. In what ways have unions improved the lives of the people that joined them? How have they helped the nation?
China's Cultural Revolution
- Mike Kubic
This informational text explains the goals for and consequences of Chairman Mao Zedong’s Great Leap Forward and Cultural Revolution in 1950s-60s communist China.Pair this argument for the eight-hour workday with “China’s Cultural Revolution” and ask students to discuss worker’s rights and economic inequalities that might have made a system like communism appealing to the workers in China.
The Coeur d’Alene Miners’ Uprising
- Various authors
In “The Coeur d’Alene Miner’s Uprising,” two newspaper articles detail the 1892 Idaho miner’s strike over unfair labor practices that left five people dead.Pair “The Coeur d’Alene Miner’s Uprising” with “The Plea for Eight Hours” and ask students to consider some of the rights that Terence Vincent Powderly and the Miners at Coeur D’Alene were fighting for. Ask students to consider what some of those rights are that we take for granted today and the lengths they would go to in order to protect and fight for those rights.