Paired Texts > What makes good people do bad things?
by Melissa Dittmann
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.
The 1972 Andes Flight DisasterCommonLit Staff
In 1972, a plane carrying a Uruguayan rugby team crashed in the remote Andes mountains, forcing the young men to resort to dire measures to survive. Instead of resigning to starvation (and perhaps, listening to their superego), they chose to engage in cannibalism.Pair “The 1972 Andes Flight Disaster” with “What makes good people do bad things?” and ask students to use Dittmann’s article to determine what drove the men to cannibalism. Were they justified in their actions, or merely using justification as a means to commit an unforgiveable act?
The Scramble for AfricaBakari Bosa
This informational text summarizes the European and American colonization and plundering of Africa, as well as Africans' resistance and eventual independence movements.Pair “The Scramble for Africa” with “What Makes Good People Do Bad Things” and ask students to discuss the morality of colonialism, as well as greed as a motivator.
Eight White Sox Are IndictedNew York Tribune
In 1920, a grand jury convened to investigate eight Chicago White Sox baseball players accused of intentionally losing the 1919 World Series against the Cincinnati Reds in exchange for money from gamblers.Pair “Eight White Sox are Indicted” with “What Makes Good People Do Bad Things?” and ask students whether they believe Zimbardo’s philosophies on morality could help explain the actions of the eight White Sox players.
The Tipping PointMalcolm Gladwell
In "The Tipping Point," Malcolm Gladwell discusses how the prevalence of certain social problems act similarly to diseases.Pair “What Makes Good People Do Bad Things” with “The Tipping Point” and ask students to discuss what elements contribute to social problems. How do the opinions of Malcolm Gladwell compare to Melissa Dittmann? How can the causes of the social problems discussed in both texts be improved?
The Tonya Harding and Nancy Kerrigan ScandalJessica McBirney
In the informational text "The Tonya Harding and Nancy Kerrigan Scandal," Jessica McBirney discusses the incident between the two figure skaters that captured the nation.Pair “What makes good people do bad things?” with “The Tonya Harding and Nancy Kerrigan Scandal” and ask students to discuss why people do evil things. How do students think Jeff Gillooly viewed Nancy Kerrigan in order to validate his actions? How might he have minimized his responsibility for the attack by hiring someone else?