by National Park Service
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.
Showdown in Little Rock
This informational text explores the 1957 incident in Little Rock, Arkansas where white segregationists and the governor illegally tried to block black students from integrating into white schools.Pair “Showdown in Little Rock” with “The Civil Rights Act of 1964” and ask students to discuss previous attempts to combat discrimination and segregation in the United States. How do both texts explore the relationship between the federal government and the states? How did Brown v. Board of Education pave the way for the progress of civil rights? What additional work was necessary to achieve equality following the Brown v. Board of Education ruling?
Martin Luther King, Jr.
The informational text “Martin Luther King, Jr.” explores the life of King and his contributions to fighting inequality through nonviolent means.Pair “Martin Luther King, Jr.” with “The Civil Rights Act of 1964” and ask students to discuss how King contributed to the passing of this influential law. In what other ways did King contribute to the Civil Rights Movement?
The Supreme Court’s Ruling in Brown vs. Board of Education
- U.S. Supreme Court
This landmark decision by the U.S. Supreme Court overturned the “separate but equal” doctrine and called for the desegregation of American public schools.Pair “The Supreme Court’s Ruling in Brown vs. Board of Education” with “The Civil Rights Act of 1964” and ask students to consider the effects of Chief Justice Warren’s decision. How did society’s view of the Civil Rights Movement change as a result of Brown vs. Board of Education? In the context of these texts, does change happen instantaneously? Ask students to explain how America was able to move from Brown v. Board of Education in 1954 to the Civil Rights Act of 1964.
Letter from Birmingham Jail
- Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.
In the famous “Letter from Birmingham Jail,” Martin Luther King, Jr., outlines his nonviolence approach to addressing injustice while responding to criticism.Pair “The Civil Rights Act of 1964” with “Letter from Birmingham Jail” and ask students how the controversy surrounding the Civil Rights Act reflected some of the problems King describes in his 1963 letter. How did the Civil Rights Act seek to address the injustices African Americans experienced? Students can also explain the connections between the protests described in the text and the philosophy of nonviolence that King outlines in “Letter.”
Martin Luther King, Jr. Nobel Acceptance Speech
- Martin Luther King, Jr.
In “Martin Luther King, Jr. Nobel Acceptance Speech,” King accepts the Nobel Peace Prize for his contributions to the Civil Rights Movement.Pair “The Civil Rights Act of 1964” with “Martin Luther King, Jr. Nobel Acceptance Speech” to provide students with additional information about the bill discussed in King’s speech. Ask students to discuss why King doesn’t consider his work done despite the passing of the bill. How did racial injustice persist after the bill’s passing?