por Langston Hughes
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The Cotton Club
- Jessica McBirney
In the informational text “The Cotton Club,” Jessica McBirney describes the popular club in Harlem where several African American entertainers performed and gained notoriety.Pair “The Cotton Club” with “Harlem” to provide students with information about Harlem during the 1920s and 1930s. How would students describe the experiences of African American entertainers during this time? What obstacles might Harlem have presented African American entertainers who were trying to realize their dream?
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 “Harlem” and ask students to discuss the importance of sticking with your dreams. How does Langston Hughes emphasize what might happen to dreams when you decide to postpone them? How could Chris have easily given up on his dream of playing basketball after the accident? Rather than giving up, or postponing his dream, what does Chris do?
Poetry Means the World to Me
- Tony Medina
In Tony Medina’s poem “Poetry Means the World to Me,” Medina speaks from Langston Hughes’ point of view to explore his love for poetry.Pair “Poetry Means the World to Me” with “Harlem” and ask students to discuss how the first poem provides information about the author of the second. How does Tony Medina explore how Langston Hughes uses poetry? How does “Harlem” further support Medina’s claims in “Poetry Means the World to Me”?
Drum Dream Girl
- Margarita Engle
In “Drum Dream Girl,” a young girl dreams of playing drums in a society that only allows boys to play the drums.Pair “Harlem” with “Drum Dream Girl” and ask students to consider the danger of not being able to go after your dreams. The speaker in the poem asks several questions about what could happen when a dream gets put on hold. How might the drum dream girl respond if she had not been able to play the drums?