Our big comprehension focus for the 4th quarter is Comparing and Contrasting. For the first few weeks, we focus on the basics. We use lots of photographs and visual activities to practice comparing and contrasting two objects, animals, people, or places. I want to make sure my students have a solid understanding of how to compare and contrast information they can see, touch, or information they already know before we dive into comparing and contrasting two pieces of text.
Here are a few of the activities we have been doing to practice our comparing and contrasting skills!
We started off by contrasting ME to our art teacher! This was fun for my kids because ALL students had an equal opportunity to be successful and to participate in the lesson. This is due to the fact that ALL of my students have about the same amount of schema and knowledge to bring to the lesson. We did a few of these Venn Diagrams together, on the smart board. (The next day they compared our gym teacher to our principal!)
I set our next activity up in a type of “Scoot” fashion. This got my kids up and moving around the room! First, I set Venn Diagrams randomly around the room. Next to each Venn Diagram, I set out two animal photographs. (The photographs come from The Speechstress on TpT and can be found in her Compare & Contrast Animals pack by clicking HERE.)
The students then wandered around the room with a partner, adding to the Venn Diagrams as they circulated the room. The students would write one similarity and one difference and then move to another Venn Diagram together. I loved the discussion that went into this lesson!
When we finished, we had many Venn Diagrams that were all completed by a variety of different students in our classrooms!
We are having SO much fun writing compare and contrast essays during Work on Writing this week! For this little writing center, students choose two monsters from our basket. I printed out a bunch of papers so the students had a lot to choose from and could repeat the activity multiple times with new monsters!
The monster cards come from oopsey daisy’s M is for Monster blog and can be found on her blog by clicking HERE.
The students glued both monsters to a piece of writing paper and named each monster. (Their favorite part and it’s SO funny to read the crazy monster names they come up with haha!) My kiddos are writing one paragraph to compare the monsters and a second paragraph to contrast the two monsters. They are LOVING this and doing a fabulous job with it! Most kids are taking two and three days to work on their writing pieces because they are SO into it!
We also worked on applying our comparing and contrasting skills to text. I wrote a quick little paragraph about each of these little clip art people and we searched for similarities and differences on the smart board. (Sorry, these smart board files are not available to be shared. They were created for personal classroom use for the time being.)
After we identified our similarities and differences within the text, we transferred this knowledge onto a Venn Diagram to organize our information.
We did a few other activities over the past few weeks that I forgot to take pictures of, of course! We:
-Compared and Contrasted shapes for math
-Created Venn Diagrams about ourselves and our desk partners
-Wrote sentences about a topic using signal words from our anchor chart. Then, the students read their sentence aloud and the class had to decide if the signal words were being used to compare or contrast within the text.
I hope this little post can give you a couple ideas on comparing and contrasting activities for your classroom! Thanks so much for stopping by!