by Jessica McBirney
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.
- Charlotte Perkins Gilman
In Charlotte Perkins Gilman’s poem “An Obstacle,” she urges us to remain strong when facing everyday obstacles. Gilman was writing as a feminist during a time when it was not socially acceptable to identify as such.Pair “An Obstacle” with “The Women of Hidden Figures” and ask students to consider how the poem's speaker and the real-life women of NASA responded to prejudice. How did the African American women who worked at NASA during the Space Race respond to prejudice, and how did it compare to the speaker’s actions in “An Obstacle”? Does one text reveal a “better” way to respond to prejudice?
The Legacy of Charles R. Drew
- CommonLit Staff
The informational text “The Legacy of Charles R. Drew” explores the life and accomplishments of Charles R. Drew, an African American doctor who made incredible contributions to the field of medicine.Pair “The Legacy of Charles R. Drew” with “The Women of Hidden Figures” and ask students to compare the obstacles that Charles Drew faced with the experiences of the women of ‘Hidden Figures.’ What additional challenges did Katherine Johnson, Dorothy Vaughan, and Mary Jackson face because of their gender? How do students think the legacy of Drew is similar to the legacies of Johnson, Vaughan, and Jackson?
Women in the Civil Rights Movement
- Barrett Smith
In the informational text “Women in the Civil Rights Movement,” Barrett Smith discusses the role that women played in the Civil Rights Movement.Pair “Women in the Civil Rights Movement” with “The Women of Hidden Figures” and ask students to discuss how the experiences of African American women were affected by both their race and gender. How did the treatment of African American women in NASA compare to the treatment of white women? How do both texts explore how African American women were denied certain opportunities and recognition because of their gender and race?
Who Is Katherine Johnson?
Katherine Johnson was a trailblazing African American mathematician who worked for NASA during the Apollo space missions.Pair “Who is Katherine Johnson?” with “The Women of Hidden Figures” to provide students with additional information on one of the women discussed in “The Women of Hidden Figures.” What additional details does “Who is Katherine Johnsons?” provide students with regarding the infamous computer? How do both texts explore Johnson’s accomplishments and their contributions to gender and racial equality?
A Rough and Rugged Road
- Libby Wilson
In the informational text “A Rough and Rugged Road,” Libby Wilson discusses the life and accomplishments of the prominent African American businesswoman, Maggie L. Walker.Pair “The Women of Hidden Figures” with “A Rough and Rugged Road” and ask students to discuss how these African American women helped create important social change. How did the African American women in these two texts make it possible for other African American women to pursue positions of power and influence? What obstacles did they encounter because of their race and gender?
A Century of Blossoms
- Patricia A. Miller
In the informational text “A Century of Blossoms,” Patricia A. Miller discusses how Eliza Scidmore successfully campaigned for cherry blossom trees to be planted along the Potomac River Basin.Pair “The Women of Hidden Figures” with “A Century of Blossoms” and ask students to compare each woman’s journey in each text with the expectations of women in their generation. What led to their success? Did the women have similar or different responses to failure and setback? Was any one woman’s response the most successful? Why or why not? How were the women in both texts able to have a lasting legacy in America?
When Women Stopped Coding
- Steve Henn
In the informational text “When Women Stopped Coding,” Steven Henn discusses why fewer women are pursuing careers in computer science.Pair “The Women of Hidden Figures” with “When Women Stopped Coding” and ask students to discuss how women, particularly African American women, have been discouraged from pursuing certain careers. What would have happened if the women in “The Women of Hidden Figures” had been excluded from NASA for their gender or race? How do both texts explore the importance of including women in all careers?
Her Code Got Humans On The Moon — And Invented Software Itself
- Robert McMillan
In the informational text “Her Code Got Humans On The Moon — And Invented Software Itself,” Robert McMillan discusses the software engineer Margaret Hamilton who worked on the Apollo space program.Pair “The Women of Hidden Figures” with “Her Code Got Humans On The Moon — And Invented Software Itself” and ask students to discuss women’s work with NASA. How did the women of Hidden Figures and Margaret Hamilton help NASA accomplish their goals? Why was it considered abnormal for these women to be working at NASA?