August 28, 2018
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by Mia Perez

Lesson plan

Comparing and Contrasting Two Characters Across Fiction Texts

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Students will be able to compare and contrast two characters from two different fiction texts.

(5 minutes)
  • Write the names of two characters from two different fiction stories on the board. Tip: select characters that all students are familiar with such as characters from recent read-alouds, literature circles, etc.
  • Ask students to think about some of the ways in which we can compare and contrast these two characters (e.g., physical traits, interests, personality traits, etc.).
  • Discuss some of the similarities and differences between these two characters.
  • Tell students that today we will listen to two stories and compare and contrast characters from each story.
(20 minutes)
  • Distribute lined paper to each student and tell them to use this paper to take notes on specific characters as they listen to the two stories.
  • Tell students that the first story they will listen to is Ty's One-Man Band. Instruct students to pay close attention to the character of Andro.
  • Read Ty's One-Man Band. Optional: watch a read-aloud of this book (see suggested media).
  • Tell students that the second story they will listen to is Sing to the Stars. Instruct students to pay close attention to the character of Mr. Washington and take notes on how he compares and contrasts to Andro.
  • Read Sing to the Stars. Optional: watch a read-aloud of this book (see suggested media).
(10 minutes)
  • Draw a Venn diagram on the board and write Andro over one circle and Mr. Washington over the second circle.
  • Ask students to think about the similarities between Andro and Mr. Washington. Remind students to consider all aspects of the characters: their personality traits, physical traits, interests, etc.
  • Call on students to share their answers (e.g., they both have disabilities, they are both African American men, they both love and play music, and they both form a friendship with a young boy). Ask students to share specific examples from the stories that illustrate these similarities.
  • Write students' answers in the middle section of the Venn diagram.
  • Ask students to think about the differences between these characters.
  • Call on students to share their answers (e.g., they have different disabilities, they play different instruments, etc.). Ask students to share specific examples from the stories that illustrate these differences.
  • Write students' answers in the circle under each character's name.
(10 minutes)
  • Distribute writing journals or lined paper to each student.
  • Ask students to write one paragraph describing the similarities between Andro and Mr. Washington and one paragraph describing the differences between Andro and Mr. Washington.
  • Tell students to reference specific examples from the story as they write about the similarities and the differences.
  • Remind students to use the Venn diagram as a resource.

Support:

  • Enable students to listen to the stories read aloud a second time or provide them with copies of the text to reference during Independent Work Time.
  • Allow students to use the Compare and Contrast Venn Diagram worksheet (see optional resources) to compare and contrast Andro and Mr. Washington during Independent Work Time instead of writing two paragraphs.

Enrichment:

  • Ask students to add a third paragraph to their writing that describes why it is important for them as readers to compare and contrast characters during Independent Work Time. Ask them to consider how this practice strengthens their reading and comprehension skills.
  • Encourage students to add a third character from a third story to compare and contrast with Andro and Mr. Washington during Independent Work Time.
(5 minutes)
  • Draw a large Venn diagram on the board.
  • Write two characters from two different books that students are familiar with above each circle.
  • Distribute one sticky note to each student.
  • Ask students to write either a similarity or a difference for these characters on their sticky note.
  • Tell students to read their sticky notes aloud before placing them on the Venn diagram.
(5 minutes)
  • Explain to students that being able to compare and contrast characters is an important comprehension skill because it helps them closely analyze characters and stories. It also helps them identify and connect key details across stories.
  • Ask students to choose a character from a book they have read.
  • Tell students to turn to an elbow partner and answer the following questions:
    • "What is the name of the book?"
    • "What is the name of the character?"
    • "What is one way they are similar to the character?"
    • "What is one way they are different from the character?"

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