by Sonia Sanchez
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.
Mother to SonLangston Hughes
In "Mother to Son," a mother utilizes metaphor to communicate the struggles she's faced and the importance of perseverance to her son.Pair “Mother to Son” with “This Is Not a Small Voice” and ask students how both poems embody themes of strength. In what ways do the speakers’ tones within the two texts convey resilience? How does the structure of the two poems support this?
We Real CoolGwendolyn Brooks
In Gwendolyn Brooks's poem "We Real Cool," she describes a group of young men she once noticed at a pool hall, portraying them as not caring about responsibilities.Pair “We Real Cool” with “This Is Not a Small Voice” and ask students to discuss how the authors develop the speakers’ identities in the two texts. What qualities do they emphasize? How do the voices of both speakers within the texts contribute to the themes of the poems?
East 149th Street (Symphony for a Black Girl)Teri Ellen Cross Davis
In Teri Ellen Cross Davis' poem "East 149th Street (Symphony for a Black Girl)," the speaker describes how she feels after having her hair braided by her mother.Pair “This Is Not A Small Voice” with “East 149th Street (Symphony for a Black Girl)” and ask students to discuss the sense of shared African American identity in each poem. How does each poet use imagery to show love and pride in the African American community? Compare and contrast the ways that each poem builds a sense of shared identity.
Transcript of Full Joseph McNeil InterviewNewsday
In "Transcript of Full Joseph McNeil Interview," Joseph McNeil describes his involvement in the Civil Rights movement, most notably, his participation in the Greensboro Woolworth's sit-in.Pair “This is Not a Small Voice” with “Transcript of Full Joseph McNeil Interview” to examine the power of activism and the ability to come together in order to create change. Ask students to explore what is necessary to be an activist. To what extent does age matter? What might Joseph McNeil say about the power of one voice?
The War of the WallToni Cade Bambara
In Tony Cade Bambara's short story "The War of the Wall," a woman comes to town to paint a wall that the neighborhood kids feel a sense of ownership over.Pair “This Is Not a Small Voice” with “The War of the Wall” and ask students to discuss show both texts explore the importance of community. How does the speaker in the poem assert this sense of importance and strength? How does the mural in “The War of the Wall” help further strengthen and unite the community?