by Barbara Radner
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.
Out Where the West Begins
- Arthur Chapman
Arthur Chapman was an American journalist who wrote the imagery-laden poem “Out Where The West Begins” in 1917, in response to some Western governors who were having a dispute over which American states should be considered “the West.”Pair “Traveling West” with “Out Where the West Begins” and have students consider how the latter poem expounds upon the idea of the American west presented in the text. Do you think people idealized it? Why or why not? Might this have motivated people to travel westward despite all of the risks and dangers they faced in making the journey? Do you think the pioneers were disappointed when they got to the west, or do you think they arrived ready to work hard and build the lives they wanted?
America and I
- Anzia Yezierska
Anzia Yezierska (1880-1970) was a Jewish-American immigrant and novelist known for her writing on immigration, assimilation, and Jewish-American lives. "America and I" is Yezierska's short essay about her struggles adapting to her new country.Pair “Traveling West” with “America and I” and ask students to think about how the two texts differ in the way they frame the American dream. How is the story of the first pioneers to travel to the west similar and different from the story of immigrants arriving at America? Did those people share any of the same challenges? Were they motivated to travel by the same factors?
Manifest Destiny, I Do Believe
- BirdBrain History
In “Manifest Destiny, I Do Believe,” Cordelia – a fictional missionary and pioneer - writes a letter about her bold plans to travel west and “civilize” the Indians in the name of Manifest Destiny.Pair “Manifest Destiny, I Do Believe” with “Traveling West” and have students consider the different motivations that Americans had for moving West. What were the most compelling reasons for moving West? What reasons do you agree or disagree with?