by CommonLit Staff
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.
First They Came…
- Martin Niemöller
In this quotation, Martin Niemöller, a German anti-Nazi activist and Lutheran pastor, reflects on the consequences of staying silent and not protesting arrests made during World War II.Pair “The Third Wave” with “First They Came…” and ask students to discuss how authoritarian systems create false senses of superiority and community. How are these senses of superiority and community used to justify terrible acts? How does this group mindset promote silence?
- CommonLit Staff
The drive to conform to group norms is a powerful force in most people’s lives. This informational text about conformity helps explain why people tend to match their beliefs and behaviors to those around them.Pair “The Third Wave” with “Conformity” and ask students how the psychology of crowd behavior may help explain what happened in Ron Jones’ social experiment.
Why Do People Follow The Crowd?
- ABC News
Dr. Gregory Burns, a professor of behavioral science, conducted several experiments to study why humans readily conform. ABC’s Primetime recreated these experiments using several unsuspecting people.Pair “The Third Wave” with “Why do people follow the crowd?” and ask students to compare the conclusions of each social experiment.
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.In “China’s Cultural Revolution” young people and students idolize their leader Mao and commit violent acts even against their own families because they are following this idealized leader and his new social norms. Compare this case to the experiment in “The Third Wave” and ask students why people follow the crowd, and whether the answer is the same in both cases.
Danish Resistance During the Holocaust
- Hans Holmskov Schlüter
During the Holocaust, some people in German-controlled Denmark fought against the violent actions and policies put in place by the Nazi party.Pair “The Third Wave” with “Danish Resistance During the Holocaust” to provide students with a study of two different sides to human behavior in WWII. Ask students, according to “The Third Wave,” why did so many Germans get swept up by Nazi leadership? Does this make them evil? How were the Danish resistance leaders different from the Germans? Is this difference innate, or determined by other factors?
Anti-Jewish Legislation in Prewar Germany
- The United States Holocaust Memorial Museum
This article details the rise of anti-Semitic laws in Nazi Germany throughout the 1930s which eventually led to the complete dehumanization and segregation of Jews living in Nazi-occupied territory.Pair “The Third Wave” with “Anti-Jewish Legislation in Prewar Germany” and ask students to discuss why they think anti-Jewish legislation swept so quickly through Germany on the national and local level.
Milgram experiment on obedience
- Khan Academy
In the informational text “Milgram experiment on obedience,” the Khan Academy discusses Stanley Milgram’s shocking experiments on human obedience.Pair “The Third Wave” with “Milgram experiment on obedience” and ask students to compare the two experiments discussed in the texts. How were authority figures established in the two experiments described in the texts? How did the participants in the experiments respond to the commands of the people in charge? In what ways did the participants in the experiments act out of character because of the commands from people in power?