Paired Texts > Why there's no place like home for the holidays
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.
Vietnamese American refugees who fled communist rule in their home country in the late 20th century reunite at a former processing center.Pair “‘Chasing Memories’ In Their Refugee Camp 40 Years After Fleeing Vietnam” with “Why there’s no place like home for the holidays” and ask students to discuss the complicated relationship refugees likely have with the idea of home. How do students think refugees discussed in the “‘Chasing Memories’ In Their Refugee Camp 40 Years After Fleeing Vietnam” felt about the camps that they stayed in? Why might some people have felt like they found a home, while others did not? How do both texts explore how home is more than the place you sleep at night?
The Trail of Tears is the name given to the forced relocation of Native American nations following the Indian Removal Act of 1830. The removal included many members of tribes who did not wish to assimilate. Many Native Americans suffered from disease and exposure, and somewhere between 2,000-6,000 Cherokee died on the trail. The Trail of Tears Diary includes interviews that reveals the extraordinary resilience of the Native American nations during the trail.Pair “Excerpt from Trail of Tears Diary” with “Why there’s no place like home for the holidays” and ask students to discuss how the authors of each text explain home. How do the author's feelings in “Excerpt from Trail of Tears Diary” about their old land and new land compare? How do students think the Muskogee Tribe thought of home based on the song words, “We are going to our homes and land; there is One who is above and ever watches over us; He will care for us”? How does this compare with the ideas of home in “Why there’s no place like home for the holidays”?
In Gwendolyn Brooks' short story "Home," a family may be forced to leave their home.Pair “Home” with “Why there’s no place like home for the holidays” and ask students to discuss how both texts explore the importance of home. Ask students to discuss what home means to the family in “Home.” How does this compare to what the author in “Why there’s no place like home for the holidays” describes? Why was the family in “Home” upset about the possibility of losing their home?
In "Nine Holiday Haiku," a speaker describes moments of holiday celebration through a series of haiku.Pair “Why there’s no place like home for the holidays” with “Nine Holiday Haiku” and ask students to explain why the idea of “home” is important to most people — particularly during the holidays — according to the article. How is the connection between home and the holidays illustrated in the poem? Which scene from the poem resonates most with your own idea of home? Why?
In "Making Up Thanksgiving as She Went Along," Sarah Lyall feels free to celebrate Thanksgiving in her own way after moving to England. Pair “Why there's no place like home for the holidays” with “Making Up Thanksgiving as She Went Along” and discuss the authors’ different perspectives on celebrating holidays. What argument does McAndrew make about the importance of celebrating holidays at “home” in “Why there's no place like home for the holidays”? After reading “Making Up Thanksgiving as She Went Along,” how do you think Lyall would respond to McAndrew’s argument? Why?
In "Home for the Holidays," a couple faces an act of racial violence on their drive home for the holidays. Pair “Why there's no place like home for the holidays” with “Home for the Holidays” and ask students to discuss different definitions of home. What does “Why there's no place like home for the holidays” say about the connections individuals feel to other people and places? How is a sense of home portrayed in Renee and Rashaun’s relationship in “Home for the Holidays”? What does each text reveal about the importance of family?
In "Christmas Trees," a speaker who lives in the country receives a visit from a man who lives in the city and is interested in buying some of his trees to sell as Christmas trees. Pair “Why there's no place like home for the holidays” and “Christmas Trees” and ask students to discuss holiday traditions. Why do people like to spend holidays at home according to the author of “Why there's no place like home for the holidays”? What are some of the important values of Christmas according to the speaker in “Christmas Trees”? How do these two texts explore the values of Christmas and holidays in different ways? What do you think are some of the universal values of holiday traditions?