by Alan King
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 Emperor's New Clothes
- Hans Christian Andersen
Hans Christian Andersen (1805-1875) was a Danish author best known for his collection of fairy tales, such as “The Little Mermaid.” In “The Emperor’s New Clothes,” two conmen manage to convince the emperor to wear clothing that is invisible to the foolish or stupid. Embarrassed to admit he cannot see the clothes, the emperor strips, puts them on, and walks naked through the streets.Pair “The Emperor’s New Clothes” with “What My Father Said” and ask students to compare the themes of the two texts. How is the Emperor negatively affected when he blindly goes along with the weavers’ claims? What might have happened if the speaker in “What My Father Said” had done something similar, and went along with his friends in the poem?
Sometimes a Dream Needs a Push
- Walter Dean Myers
In Walter Dean Myers’ short story “Sometimes a Dream Needs a Push,” a boy must change his approach to basketball when he loses the ability to walk.Pair “Sometimes a Dream Needs a Push” with “What My Father Said” and ask students to compare the father-son relationships in the two texts. How do the fathers treat their sons in the two texts? How does the father’s attitude in “Sometimes a Dream Needs a Push” change throughout the passage? How does this compare to the shifting attitude of the speaker in the poem?
- Alan King
In Alan King’s poem “Swarm,” a speaker watches two boys fight and is reminded of a fight from his youth.Pair “Swarm” with “What My Father Said” to provide students another poem by Alan King. Ask students to discuss what the two poems have in common. In the two poems, the speakers look back on a memory from their youth. Why are these memories significant? Why do you think the author chose to write about them?
- Alan King
In Alan King’s poem “The Listener,” the speaker hears someone laugh and is reminded of his deceased aunt.Pair “What My Father Said” with “The Listener” to provide students with another example of a poem by Alan King. Ask students to discuss how King explores the importance of family in the two poems. What roles do memories play in the two poems?
This Father's Day, Remembering a Time When Dads Weren't Welcome in Delivery Rooms
- Deena Prichep
In the informational text, “This Father’s Day, Remember A Time When Dads Weren’t Welcome In Delivery Rooms,” Deena Prichep discusses how fathers were once discouraged from being in the delivery room.Pair “What My Father Said” with “This Father’s Day, Remember A Time When Dads Weren’t Welcome In Delivery Rooms” to provide students with a poem about parenthood. How is the father there for his son in the poem, even when he doesn’t realize it? How can a father be there for his child and for his partner by being present in the delivery room?