The challenge then is to take that skill that students use quite often, and help them understand how to apply it to a piece of literature or informational text. Here are a few activities I like to use to help students master comparing and contrasting in reading:. The Venn diagram is the tried and true tool that teachers utilize when students are asked to compare and contrast. It's a great tool and there's a reason it is used so much!
Here are two ways that you might also use a Venn diagram:. When you want a larger, more visual Venn diagram, you can make one on the ground using hula hoops. Students can add differences and similarities by writing them on index cards or small pieces of paper. I really love to use this when small groups are working on comparing two characters from the same book like Auggie and Via Pullman from Wonder or comparing two different books like Hatchet and The Sign of the Beaver. After groups are finished, I like to have kids move around the room, from Venn diagram to Venn Diagram, to see what other students were thinking and how their Venn diagrams were similar or different.
She sets Venn diagrams around the room with small pictures on the top which shows what students are comparing. In the upper elementary grades, reading skills are usually strong enough that pictures aren't really needed, but I still think they provide a nice visual and may jog a few extra ideas out of your kids! As pairs walk around the room, they stop at each Venn diagram and write a similarity between the two objects, animals, people, or places and a difference. By the end of the activity, each Venn diagram should be completely filled and students have had the opportunity to do lots of comparing and contrasting.
Once they tally the results and make a colorful graph, I put them on a bulletin board called Class Favorites.
70 Compare and Contrast Essay Topics to Help You Get Started - Kibin
Not only is this a great icebreaker kids learn a few names of new classmates and math activity, but it is also good compare and contrast practice. I ask students to make three observations from their graph, and this is where they compare and contrast to complete the assignment. We do this again at the end of the year with ice cream flavors. For a beginning activity, make small cards with two items on each card which are similar but also different. The cards could have two different foods like hamburgers and hot dogs , two different animals like a hippo and a rhino , two different jobs like a doctor and a teacher or two different sports like baseball and football.
Compare and Contrast Essay Examples for Students
Place several of these in small baggies one baggie for each pair and students pull a card and compare and contrast each set. This could be done verbally, on paper, on whiteboards, or in a reader's notebook. Once students are comfortable comparing and contrasting ordinary things, you'll want to move them into applying this skill to reading. One idea is to do a similar activity once a read aloud, literature circle, class novel, or even a basal story has been read by the whole class.
This time, the cards will have items like settings in one book or settings from two different books, specific events in a story, characters in the same book or characters from two different books, and themes. I prepare baggies with the same cards for each set of pairs. Even though I am asking them to compare a number of things, I only ask them to record one set of observations. Sometimes I tell students which set to choose and sometimes I let them decide. Before I have students do this in pairs or small groups of three, I do like to model the process together.
Once all students are familiar with the books, we go through a few of the possible categories to compare and contrast together. These stories are really good for settings, character traits, theme, and events. Plus I just really like the themes in these books which is to be yourself and to accept others for who they are.
Besides Venn diagrams, I think tables are one of the best ways to record comparisons.
You can focus your piece of writing on both differences and similarities or decide to show either similar or different aspects. This assignment helps the targeted audience reach critical decisions. You can choose common or rare objects, events, issues, and people. When people read your essay, they start weighing all factors before making a final decision and coming up with their personal conclusions.
They become more cognizant of discussed matters.
Decide on the objects that you will discuss, such as living at home alone or with a family, day or night time, etc. Ensure that they have different and similar qualities to get enough information to analyze and discuss in your academic paper.
Compare and Contrast Essay Topics for College Students
Create a detailed outline of your future essay. Sketch out major points and their supporting facts that you will discuss and follow this plan when writing every section.
Pick the most effective organizational structure that you will use. There are several approaches that you can use when constructing the main body of your paper, including:.
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Include a catchy hook to stimulate their engagement and interest. Make this paragraph original and appealing to readers and finish it with your thesis that represents a major argument of your writing. In body paragraphs, you should demonstrate specific points, use solid evidence to support all ideas, and make a detailed analysis that your readers will follow. Avoid choosing too many points at once. Pick the most valuable ones to elaborate them and end every paragraph with a concluding sentence that shows its main idea. In the conclusion, sum up all differences and similarities. The most important rule for every student when completing this academic assignment is to focus on all small and big details.
The things that you decide to compare and contrast should be common.
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Brainstorm interesting topics, take your fresh look at them and talk with parents or other people to come up with a unique perspective. Another key to writing a winning compare and contrast essay is to stick to the best structure because all teachers pay attention to it.
Consider your targeted audience and address the subject important to them.