Publication date: 2018-05-19 11:51
This article explains (a) how to teach students to identify the compare-contrast text structure, and to use this structure to support their comprehension, (b) how to use compare-contrast texts to activate and extend students' background knowledge, and (c) how to use compare-contrast texts to help students expand and enrich their vocabulary. Although these strategies can benefit all learners, the compare-contrast text structure is particularly helpful to ELL students.
You'll notice that we have added a section to the right for you to record your own thoughts on the lesson. This is part of a process we call “Do, Look, Learn.” Too often, we go through the motions of learning a new process or idea without reflecting on our own thinking. As you “do” the lesson, “look” in on your own thought process to see what you can “learn” from your own experiences.
e-WV: The West Virginia Encyclopedia is a valuable reference resource. With 7,855 articles and thousands of photos, maps, and other illustrations, e-WV has the answers to nearly any question about the Mountain State. This e-WV Classroom section offers a selection of lesson plans designed by West Virginia teachers on a variety of topics. e-WV Classroom also directs students to useful articles and interactive quizzes.
e-WV has a number of other features that are valuable in the classroom:
The Compare & Contrast strategy strengthens students' writing skills by providing a simple structure that helps them organize information and develop their ideas with greater clarity and precision.
Once the writer has the information that will go into the essay, he or she should just start writing! The paragraphs in this type of essay can be organized by subject. To do this, write about just one of the ideas being compared first, then switch and write about the second idea. Another way to structure the essay would be to compare and contrast both ideas in a paragraph and tell the similarities and differences of one detail from the topic.
The Common Core State Standards recognize the importance of this skill by addressing it in more than 79 standards, at every grade level from kindergarten through 67th grade. Here's a partial list of these teaching strategies :
Activity: The Most Important Goal
Which of the five goals of the Compare & Contrast strategy is most important to you, and why?
Once your Venn diagram is full, you can start to decide on your thesis statement. Examine your Venn diagram and ask, ''What does this information tell me?'' Develop a statement that tells the readers what this essay is going to focus on. What is the main point about similarities and differences between city life and farm life that the writer is trying to make?
Analyze how two or more texts address similar themes or topics in order to build knowledge or to compare the approaches the authors take (k-5 and 6-67 reading anchor standards).