by Karen DelleCava
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.
- Shel Silverstein
This short but profound poem deals with the experience of hiding one’s identity.Pair “Masks” with “Too Many Vegetables” and ask students to discuss how the story in “Too Many Vegetables” would have been different if the characters responded to each other like the two characters described in the poem. How could the characters in the poem have benefited from reaching out like the neighbors in the story?
Strength in Numbers
- BirdBrain Science
In the informational text “Strength in Numbers,” the grouping of organisms and their roles in the natural world are discussed.Pair “Strength in Numbers with “Too Many Vegetables” and ask students to discuss how the characters in “Too Many Vegetables” acted like organisms as they are described in “Strength in Numbers.” How is their community similar to the different groups discussed for the organisms? How are they different? How do people affect other people in a community like bees affecting flowers and bears?
Athena and the Dandelions
- Leeann Zouras
In Leeann Zouras’ short story “Athena and the Dandelions,” a girl is embarrassed that her Greek family eats dandelions.Pair “Athena and the Dandelions” with “Too Many Vegetables” and ask students to discuss how the characters in the two stories show kindness to their neighbors. How can food help bring people together? How do students think the picnic in “Too Many Vegetables” and the dinner in “Athena and the Dandelions” strengthened the neighborhoods’ communities?
The White Nights of Ramadan
- Maha Addasi
In Maha Addasi’s short story “The White Nights of Ramadan,” a Muslim family celebrates Girgian, a festival that takes place in the middle of the month of Ramadan.Pair “Too Many Vegetables” with “The White Nights of Ramadan” and ask students to discuss the idea of community in each story. How do the communities come together in each text? What is the cause for people coming together in the community in each text? How does it affect the young characters in each story?
Obento: Art in a Lunch Box
- Teresa V. Mitchum
In the Informational text “Obento: Art in a Lunch Box,” Teresa V. Mitchum discusses how parents prepare special boxed lunches for their children in Japan.Pair “Too Many Vegetables” with “Obento: Art in a Lunch Box” and ask students to discuss how food can bring people together. How can meals be a time to nourish the body and also strengthen friendships? How are the characters in “Too Many Vegetables” affected by their time eating together? How do you think the Japanese children described in the text are positively impacted by their obento time?
How the Stories Came to Be
- Mabel Powers
In the folktale “How the Stories Came to Be,” retold by Mabel Powers, a narrator describes the beginning of stories for the Iroquois people.Pair “Too Many Vegetables” with “How the Stories Came to Be” and ask students to discuss what brings people together in the two texts. How do food and stories strengthen communities in the two texts? What happens if communities stop sharing things with one another?
The Three Sisters
- Barbara Hagen
In the informational text “The Three Sisters,” Barbara Hagen discusses the three main vegetables that many American Indians ate hundreds of years ago.Pair “Too Many Vegetables” with “The Three Sisters” and ask students to discuss the importance of vegetables in the two texts. What are all the different foods people can make from zucchini in “Too Many Vegetables”? What did many Native people use corn to make in “The Three Sisters”? How do both texts explore how food can bring people together?