Lesson Plan

Comparing with Transition Words

Help ELs learn how to compare and contrast multiple nonfiction resources, using transition words to support their understanding. It can be a stand-alone lesson or support for the lesson Compare and Contrast Information Across Sources.
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This lesson can be used as a pre-lesson for the Compare and Contrast Information Across Sources lesson plan.
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This lesson can be used as a pre-lesson for the Compare and Contrast Information Across Sources lesson plan.


  • Students will be able to compare and contrast information across three different resources on a given subject.
  • Students will consider how to handle conflicting information across resources.

Students will be able to use transition words to make comparisons between texts and resources on the same topic.


(2 minutes)
Graphic Organizer Template: Vocabulary Instruction ChartCompare & Contrast Nonfiction Texts: The Underground RailroadTransition Words for Comparing & ContrastingVocabulary Cards: Comparing with Transition WordsGlossary: Comparing with Transition WordsTeach Background Knowledge TemplateWrite Student-Facing Language Objectives Reference
  • Hold up two similar (but different) objects, like an apple and an orange. Ask students to turn and talk with a partner about what is the same and what is different about the two objects (i.e., they are both fruits, they are both round, one is orange, one is red).
  • Draw a Venn diagram on the board and ask students to share some of the similarities and differences they discussed. Provide sentence frames, like "They both are..." and "The apple is ____, while the orange is ____." Record their responses in the Venn diagram. Prompt students with leading questions if needed.
  • Explain to students that they just compared and contrasted the two objects by analyzing their similarities and differences. Point out the Venn diagram and remind students that this is one type of graphic organizer that people can use to compare and contrast things.
  • Tell students that today they will be learning some transition words that are commonly used to compare and contrast texts. Explain that, as fifth graders, they will be expected to compare two or more texts on a topic.