by Shelby Ostergaard
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.
Act for Establishing Religious Freedom
- Thomas Jefferson
Thomas Jefferson drafted this bill in 1779, and James Madison saw to it that the Virginia legislature passed it in 1786. In it, Jefferson makes an argument for religious freedom in the United States.Pair “Act for Establishing Religious Freedom” with “United and Divided: How Religion Drove Politics in Pre-Modern Europe” and ask students to discuss how the two texts portray Christianity. How do students think Thomas Jefferson would respond to how Christianity spread throughout Europe? Are the ideals of religious freedom something that are still protected in our society today? Why or why not?
Causes of the American Civil War
- Mike Kubic
In “Causes of the American Civil War,” the informational text explores the causes of the American Civil War and the growing hostility between the Northern abolitionists and Southern slaveholders.Pair “Causes of the American Civil War” with “United and Divided: How Religion Drove Politics in Pre-Modern Europe” and ask students to discuss the causes of internal divisions in the two contexts. What role did religion play in both of these disputes? How did both America and Europe attempt to resolve disagreements?
The Madness Of Humanity Part 3: Tribalism
- Marcelo Gleiser for NPR
In “The Madness of Humanity Part 3: Tribalism,” Marcelo Gleiser discusses what role tribalism plays in our society today, and the different social interactions it promotes.Pair “The Madness of Humanity Part 3: Tribalism” with “United and Divided: How Religion Drove Politics in Pre-Modern Europe” and ask students to discuss whether or not the violence shown during religious shifts in Europe are examples of tribalism. Why do students think religious identity was so important to European people during the Middle Ages?