by Terry Bisson
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.A woman meets Prejudice, personified as a man, while walking on a mountain path. Pair “An Obstacle” with “They’re Made Out of Meat,” and ask students to analyze the writers’ uses of allegory and personification to address prejudice. Discuss both authors’ purpose in using literary devices to critique prejudice.
Cool Jobs: Reaching Out to E.T. Is a Numbers Game
- Ilima Loomis
In the informational text, “Cool Jobs: Reaching Out to E.T. Is a Numbers Game,” Ilima Loomis discusses how scientists use math in their search for alien life.Pair “They’re Made Out of Meat” with “Cool Jobs: Reaching Out to E.T. Is a Numbers Game” to provide students with a short story about aliens coming in contact with humans. How do both texts portray humans’ exploration of the universe? Why might aliens not respond to our message even if they receive it and understand it?
Will We Know Alien Life When We See It?
- Tina Hesman Saey
In the informational text, “Will We Know Alien Life When We See It?” Tina Hesman Saey discusses how scientists define life and what it might look like on other planets.Pair “They’re Made Out of Meat” with “Will We Know Alien Life When We See It?” to provide students with a short story about two aliens’ discovery of humans. Ask students to discuss why humans aren’t what the aliens expect. How does this compare to the discussion of possible alien life in “Will We Know Alien Life When We See It?” How do both texts explore the flexibility needed for defining life?