by Robert Krulwich
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.
When I Heard the Learn'd Astronomer
- Walt Whitman
In this poem by the "father of free verse," the speaker prefers nature to the astronomer's cold, organized lecture.Pair “Will We ‘Fix’ The Weather? Yes. Should We Fix The Weather? Hmmm” with “When I Heard the Learn’d Astronomer” and ask students to consider what is lost in the development of technology. Does technology always alter the human experience for the better? Why or why not? If Walt Whitman could have a conversation with Robert Krulwich about his essay, what argument would he make? Which ideas would he agree and disagree with? Why?
The Open Boat
- Stephen Crane
In Stephen Crane's "The Open Boat," several men are stranded at sea in a small dinghy. Crane uses vivid imagery to weave a story about survival, brotherhood, death, and the futility of trying to defeat nature's powerful forces.Pair “Will We ‘Fix’ The Weather? Yes. Should We Fix The Weather? Hmmm” with “The Open Boat” and ask students to think about how Crane’s story supports or contradicts Krulwich’s discussion of the relationship between human beings and their environment. How does the story take up the question of whether humans can or should actively control nature, on a small or large scale? Are human beings truly able to conquer and regulate nature via technological advances, or would even attempting to do so likely be disastrous?
Choosing a Warning Label for Human DNA
- Charles Wohlforth
In this essay, science, technology, and travel writer Charles Wohlforth explores the complicated relationship between human beings and their treatment of the ecosystem that allows them life.Pair “Will We ‘Fix’ The Weather? Yes. Should We Fix The Weather? Hmmm” with “Choosing a Warning Label for Human DNA” and have students compare and contrast the views of human beings as inhabitants of earth expressed in each piece. What does each author envision for the future in terms of environmental stewardship? How does the language used in their respective texts contribute to the tone of each article? What does this contribute to the overall meaning of each text?
Explainer: Global warming and the greenhouse effect
- Agnieszka Biskup
In the informational text “Explainer: Global warming and the greenhouse effect,” Agnieszka Biskup explains the greenhouse effect and why the Earth is warming.Pair “Will We ‘Fix’ the Weather? Yes. Should We Fix the Weather? Hmmm” with “Explainer: Global warming and the greenhouse effect” to provide students with information about how humans might respond to climate change in the future. Ask students to discuss how controlling the climate could combat global warming. How does Robert Krulwich feel about controlling the climate to lessen climate change?