93 pages 3 hours read

America Ferrera

American Like Me

Nonfiction | Essay Collection | Adult | Published in 2018

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Reading Context

Use these questions or activities to help gauge students’ familiarity with and spark their interest in the context of the work, giving them an entry point into the text itself.

Short Answer

1. The metaphor of a melting pot to describe America’s heterogenous culture came into popular usage in 1908, when playwright Israel Zangwill wrote the play The Melting Pot: The Great American Drama. When you think of the term melting pot, what comes to mind? Do you think it’s an apt descriptor for modern American culture still, even over 100 years since the term was originally coined?

Teaching Suggestion: To better understand the theme of the United States as a Salad Bowl, Not a Melting Pot, it can be helpful for students to first have a basic understanding of the term melting pot and its origins. In this discussion, you might choose to highlight playwright Israel Zangwill’s immigrant background as the son of Jewish immigrants from Russia; you might discuss the literal definition of a melting pot; and/or you might read an excerpt from Zangwill’s original play (found here). Consider accessing or sharing the following or similar resources to help inform this work.