Teaching compare and contrast to student is an essential skill. When they get to the real world, comparing and contrasting things are something that they do daily even if they don’t notice.
I spend a week explicitly focusing on compare and contrast and then we review it often throughout the year.
Comparing and Contrasting Without Text
I start with teaching students how to compare and contrast before we start analyzing text.
We compare and contrast….
*Objects I bring from home.
*Themselves with a family member at home.
After teaching students how to use a venn diagram to compare and contrast we move straight into a comparison essay.
I use an anchor chart to teach them what each part of a comparison essay looks like. Then, we read two texts and write a sample essay.
For our two texts, we do two Jann Brett stories. Click the picture below for the affiliate links to the two stories.
Small Group/Partner Work
I do one small group project where I will read a story called, “Sharks” by Gail Gibbons. Then, the kiddos get into a small group and read another book about Sharks. We typically do this on EPIC or I grab some shark books from our local library.
As a group they write a comparison essay and do a poster to show the class.
The next day we do a similar thing with a partner. This time we read a story as a class. and then I give each set of partners a close read that is similar to this story. They read their story and write a comparison essay to the story we read as a whole class. When we are done, I have them check each other’s stories and give them feedback.
Extra Fun Work
*We read two versions of “The Three Little Pigs” and the students make a song/rap to compare and contrast them.
*We look at pictures and compare and contrast them.
*Play “Would You Rather?”
I usually will have one/two small “focus” groups each week. This is where we work in small group on the skill, so that these students get extra skill work.
In this focus group we…
*Compare and contrast themselves to a character that is provided to them.
*Read close reads to compare and contrast.
*Write stories and then compare them with other stories.
I hope some of these ideas help you with your compare and contrast week.
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