How can I use paired texts in my classroom?

Students deepen their understanding of ideas by making connections across paired texts. CommonLit text pairings include blurbs that describe how the texts connect to each other as well as suggestions for prompts and questions to use with your students to encourage critical thinking.

A great way to provide a clear purpose for students’ reading of paired texts is to share the pairing questions with them in advance of their reading.

As students read each text, consider having them take notes on the significant details that relate to the pairing questions. Then, have them respond to a pairing prompt or question in writing. This will give students a great start on the brainstorming for an extended essay or even a class discussion. Feel free to download our paired texts graphic organizer that is linked at the bottom of this article, and tailor it to your own classroom needs.


Here's an example of using Paired Texts:

Imagine you assign the 8th grade text "In My Mom's Shoes."

After students have completed this assignment, instead of trying to search in the Library for a similarly themed text, you can click on the Paired Texts tab at the top of the page. 

From the Paired Texts page, you can assign a perfectly designed text to pair with your last assignment. For example, you could assign the text "Eating Together" and utilize the questions provided on the Paired Texts page to have students compare the two readings.