Lesson Plans For Comparing And Contrasting Essays

Compare and Contrast Writing

Alike or Different? You Be the Judge
Students write an expository paragraph after comparing and contrasting items of texture, taste, odor, and visual appearance. This activity will work with students from upper elementary through high school. Lesson includes student handout and rubric.

Compare and Contrast Lesson Plan
Students use a Venn diagram to compare and contrast. Introductory activity leads to reinforcement with a story. Designed for grades K-5.

Comparing and Contrasting
This site emphasizes construction of the thesis statement. It is designed for college freshmen.

Comparison and Contrast Guide
The Comparison and Contrast Guide outlines the characteristics of the genre and provides direct instruction on the methods of organizing, gathering ideas, and writing comparison and contrast essays. This resource is designed for elementary students to use independently.

Forty Topic Suggestions: Comparison and Contrast
Scroll down on the page for a list of topics designed for high school or college students.

A Pair of Anything
Students use a Venn diagram as a prewriting activity for a compare/contrast essay. This page includes a rubric.

Teaching the Compare/Contrast Essay
This lesson plan includes explanations, a timeline, and handouts. At this site, the same material annotated by a master teacher. These materials work with middle and high school students.

Writing a Comparative Analysis , a handout from The Writing Center at Harvard
Explanation of both traditional compare/contrast and "lens" papers, suggestions for organization.

Lesson Plan : Compare and Contrast Essay

 Ms. K. Dunham
 Grade 4
 Language Arts

 Compare and Contrast One Room Schools to Schools Today
 After reading "A One Room School" students should be able to describe similarities and differences between the schools described in the text and the school in which they currently attend. Key Vocabulary: artificial, distracted, shamed, boarding, eager, ensure, scalding
 Students will be able to write an essay in which they compare the similarities and contrast the differences among one room schools from the past and schools today.
 Pennsylvania State Academic Standards: Write an informational piece, write with a sharp distinct focus using a clear topic and demonstrating awareness of audience. Students will be able to explain both similarities and differences among two items. Students will be able to write a main idea for each paragraph. Students will be able to write supporting details for each main idea. Students will be able to write appropriate introductions and conclusions.
 Venn Diagrams for comparisons, Planning graphic organizer, Overhead projector for think alouds
 After reading "A One Room School" introduce the writing assignment in which students will compare and contrast schools today with schools from the past. Explain that the piece is informational. Explain that the piece is non-fiction.
 Emphasize that students must begin their essays with a topic sentence that tells the reader what the entire essay will be able. Remind students that their conclusion or final sentence must include similar information. Provide students with a few examples of comparisons and contrasts that can be made between a different topic. For example, compare school and home. Use a think aloud strategy to guide students through making comparisons and contrasts. Review how to make inferences. Examples: 1. At school, students must wear a uniform 2. At home, children are allowed to watch television 3. At, school, students must listen to adults.
 Provide students with three facts from the beginning of the text. Ask them to compare or contrast the infomation with what they know to be true about school today. Remind students that this will require them to make inferences based on what they know about school today. 1. Schools in the past contained only one room 2. Schools in the past grew their own foos 3. Schools in the past had mostly male teachers
 Low students will be given graphic organizers to plan their writing. Students will receive teacher assistance with spelling and sentence development. Each student will have a small white board for the teacher to write down the students ideas when given verbally.
Checking For Understanding:
 After completing a first draft, students will have a short conference with the teacher to determine if student is demonstrating focus and has included all the requisite components listed in the grading rubric.
 Ask students to share out some of their comparisons and contrasts. Ask students to guide the class through their thought process to model good writing strategies. Ask students what they have learned.
 Teacher will grade student writing according to developed rubric and a score will be assigned to each paper. Teacher will select four anchor papers to subsequently review with students to model excellent, good, average, and below average student writing.

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