Paired Texts - Ain't I a Woman and Phenomenal Woman - Distance Learning

Grade Levels
7th - 11th, Homeschool
Formats Included
  • PDF
20 pages
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In this lesson, students complete close readings of a speech by Sojourner Truth and poem by Maya Angelou. Then, they synthesize their understanding of the texts and write a short analytical essay requiring them to consider and compare central ideas and themes.

This resource can be used for distance learning with the TpT Digital Layer Tool!

This 20-page resource includes the following:

-explicit lesson plan with identified Common Core ELA Anchor Standards

-anticipation guide

-contextual reading guides

-think aloud with sample annotation passage

-text of the speech

-links to audio and video versions of the texts

-activity for analysis of allusions

-poetry analysis graphic organizer

-Venn diagram

-essay writing prompt

-short analytical essay rubric

-key (including detailed responses for all activities and a sample essay)

Please note that to respect copyright, the text for the poem "Phenomenal Woman" is not included. However, a link to an online version of the poem is provided in the lesson.

Incorporating all strands of the Common Core English Language Arts (ELA) Anchor Standards, this "paired passages" lesson encourages students to practice skills in annotation and rhetorical and literary analysis. Students complete handouts with before-, during-, and post-reading strategies, which provide scaffolding for diverse learners. Afterwards, students respond to a writing prompt that imitates the style of a standardized assessment. Whether or not your students will face state tests, this lesson provides instruction for any students needing practice with close reading and essay writing.

With its detailed instructions and samples, this resource would make an excellent lesson for a substitute if you will be out for a couple of days.

Are you interested in a digital version (Google Drive and Microsoft OneDrive) of this lesson that includes an instructional video?

Digital Paired Text - Ain't I a Woman? and Phenomenal Woman

Here are additional paired passages lessons for other classic titles:

The Road Not Taken & A Dream Deferred

Naming Myself & My Name

We Wear the Mask & I'm Nobody! Who Are You?

First Lesson & Those Winter Sundays

A Raisin in the Sun & Mother to Son

And here are resources on analyzing poetry and brainstorming for argument writing:

Bell Ringers

Meaningful and Memorable English Language Arts by © OCBeachTeacher

All rights reserved by author.

Limited to use by purchaser only.

Group licenses available.

Not for public display.

Total Pages
20 pages
Answer Key
Teaching Duration
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to see state-specific standards (only available in the US).
Cite strong and thorough textual evidence to support analysis of what the text says explicitly as well as inferences drawn from the text.
Determine a theme or central idea of a text and analyze in detail its development over the course of the text, including how it emerges and is shaped and refined by specific details; provide an objective summary of the text.
Determine the meaning of words and phrases as they are used in the text, including figurative and connotative meanings; analyze the cumulative impact of specific word choices on meaning and tone (e.g., how the language evokes a sense of time and place; how it sets a formal or informal tone).
Analyze how an author’s choices concerning how to structure a text, order events within it (e.g., parallel plots), and manipulate time (e.g., pacing, flashbacks) create such effects as mystery, tension, or surprise.
Analyze the representation of a subject or a key scene in two different artistic mediums, including what is emphasized or absent in each treatment (e.g., Auden’s “Musée des Beaux Arts” and Breughel’s Landscape with the Fall of Icarus).


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