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 Missouri Compromise
This informational text discusses the controversial decision to admit Missouri to the U.S. as a slave state, as well as the compromise enacted to keep the balance of free and slave states in Congress equal in the future.Pair “The South Secedes” with “The Missouri Compromise” and ask students to discuss how these two texts reveal the progression of tension between pro-slavery and anti-slavery states. If the Missouri Compromise had been handled differently, could southern secession have been avoided, or might it have just occurred at a different time?
The Election of 1860
This information text describes the lead-up to and outcomes of the 1860 presidential election of Abraham Lincoln, which sparked the Civil War.Pair “The South Secedes” with “The Election of 1860” and ask students to discuss how the election prompted secession and how, if at all, secession may have been avoided.
A Nation Divided: North vs. South
“A Nation Divided: North vs. South” discusses the strengths and weaknesses of the Union and the Confederacy during the American Civil War.Pair "The South Secedes" with “A Nation Divided: North vs. South” and ask students to analyze whether or not the southern states made a tactically smart decision to secede from the Union given some of the resource gap that they faced.
The Battle of Gettysburg
This text details how the Union dealt the Confederacy a decisive blow in the Civil War at the Battle of Gettysburg in 1863.Pair “The Battle of Gettysburg” with “The South Secedes” and ask students to compare the consequences of the battles in the two texts.
This informational text describes how the Kansas-Nebraska Act led to an outbreak of violence over slavery preceding the Civil War.Pair “Bloody Kansas” with “The South Secedes” and ask students to discuss how Bloody Kansas was instrumental to the South’s secession, as well as whether the events in “Bloody Kansas” could constitute the actual beginning of the Civil War, as some claim.
The Battle of Bull Run: The End of Illusions
- Ernest B. Furgurson
In “The Battle of Bull Run: The End of Illusions,” the First Battle of Bull Run is recounted, as well as its role in the disillusionment of the American people in the early stages of the American Civil War.Pair “The South Secedes” with “The Battle of Bull Run: The End of Illusions” and ask students to discuss the reasons behind the secession of the South. Why did these states leave the United States union? What was the popular opinion of the Southern public regarding this decision?
Attack on Fort Sumter Marked Start of War
- Carolyn Reeder
In the informational text “Attack on Fort Sumter Marked Start of War,” Carolyn Reeder discusses the South’s first attack on the North that resulted in the beginning of the Civil War.Pair “The South Secedes” with “Attack on Fort Sumter Marked Start of War” to provide students with information about what contributed to the tension between the North and the South. Why did the South originally secede from the Union and why did additional states later join them? What additional details does “The South Secedes” provide about the attack on Fort Sumter?