Paired Texts > The Story of Ida B. Wells
by Shannon Moreau
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.
Learning to ReadFrances Ellen Watkins Harper
In "Learning to Read," a former slave describes what it was like to be prevented from obtaining an education and learning to read as an adult.Pair “Learning to Read” with “The Story of Ida B. Wells” and ask students to discuss the power of reading and writing, especially in the face of discrimination.
For King's Adviser, Fulfilling The Dream 'Cannot Wait'Michele Norris
On August 28, 1963, approximately 250,000 people participated in the March on Washington for Jobs and Freedom. It was at this event where Martin Luther King, Jr. delivered his famous, "I Have a Dream" speech. In this special series from NPR's Morning Edition, reporter Michelle Norris looks back on this important moment in Civil Rights history.Pair “For King’s Advisor, ‘Fulfilling the Dream’ Cannot Wait” with “The Story of Ida B. Wells” and ask students to discuss the power of writing and speech in social change. Ask them to also discuss how the Civil Rights Movement has developed since the time of Ida B. Wells.
The Golden Lotus: A History of Foot BindingJessica McBirney
This informational text introduces the practice of foot binding in China, its history, and the resistance to it.Pair this text on the history of foot binding with the history of Ida B. Wells. Ask students to compare the two stories of how people create change in society. Are they similar or different? What historical or social factors might explain these similarities or differences?
Workers' Rights and the History of Labor UnionsJessica McBirney
This article provides a brief history of labor unions, including common tactics and important advances in workers' rights.Ida B. Wells practiced some of the same strategies as labor unions (working toward the creation of laws and staging boycotts, as well as the power of the press) to create change and fight for the rights of Black Americans. How are the histories of Black civil rights and workers’ rights similar and different? Compare and contrast the kinds of rights people were seeking in each movement, and the strategies they used to create change.
American Justice in the Supreme CourtJessica McBirney
This informational text is an introduction to the United States Supreme Court -- who is on it, how cases are brought to the Supreme Court, and why it matters.Pair “The Story of Ida B. Wells” with “American Justice in the Supreme Court” and discuss justice in America. How can U.S. courts help individuals solve problems? What are some injustices in America the Supreme Court can’t address?
Excerpt from Southern Horrors: Lynch Laws in All Its PhasesIda B. Wells
In "Excerpt from Southern Horrors: Lynch Laws in All Its Phases," historical activist Ida B. Wells discusses the injustice and horrors of Southern lynch laws, focusing on the violence against African Americans following the Civil War.Pair “The Story of Ida B. Wells” with “Excerpt from Southern Horrors: Lynch Laws in All Its Phases” so that students may have a better understanding of the life and work of author and activist Ida B. Wells. What drove Wells to speak out and seek justice on lynching?
The Many and the FewJ. Patrick Lewis
In J. Patrick Lewis' poem "The Many and the Few," a speaker describes the historic moment when Rosa Parks refused to give her seat on a bus in Montgomery, Alabama.Pair “The Story of Ida B. Wells” with “The Many and the Few” and ask students to compare the impact that Rosa Parks had on the nation to that of Ida B. Wells. How did both women contribute to the Civil Rights movement? How did their actions inspire change throughout the United States?
Ain't I a Woman?Sojourner Truth
In Sojourner Truth's speech "Ain't I a Woman?" Truth discusses women's rights at the Ohio Women's Rights Convention in 1851.Pair "The Story of Ida B. Wells" with "Ain't I a Woman?" and ask students to compare the actions and attitudes of these two influential activists. What injustices did Sojourner Truth and Ida B. Wells fight against? How did they use their words to move people and start change?
Marley Dias: The 13-Year-Old Author Who Made a DifferenceBarrett Smith
In the informational text "Marley Dias: The 13-Year-Old Author Who Made a Difference," Barrett Smith discusses the activism of a young girl who collects and donates books with black girls as the main characters.Pair “The Story of Ida B. Wells” with “Marley Dias: The 13-Year-Old Author Who Made a Difference” and ask students to discuss how Wells and Dias are both influential activists. In what ways is Dias continuing Wells’ legacy? How do you think Wells would react to what Dias has accomplished, especially at such a young age?