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Finding Similarities and Differences
Students will be able to compare and contrast the story elements in two fiction texts.
- Ask students to think about what it means to compare and contrast two things. Allow students to discuss and share answers.
- Accept answers and clarify that when we compare and contrast, we look at what is the same and different about two things. Share that we do this in our everyday lives as we look at weather, people, food, cars, and situations. Explain that good readers do this as they read.
- Read aloud the student objective with the class.
Explicit Instruction/Teacher modeling(15 minutes)
- Explain to the class that today’s lesson will be about the story elements in two fiction texts, and how they are similar and different. Review that story elements are the different parts that make up a fiction story, such as the characters, setting, problem, events, and solution.
- Display a copy of the Venn Diagram Graphic Organizer worksheet. Explain that this is a common graphic organizer that we use to compare and contrast two things. When we compare we are looking for the similarities, or the things the two texts have in common. When we contrast we are looking at the differences between the two texts.
- Go over key words that we use when we compare things, such as both, same, similar, similarities, also, alike. Share key words to use when we contrast things, such as different, differ, differences, but, unlike.
- Model filling out the Venn Diagram Graphic Organizer worksheet with information about the story elements of two stories using only the texts from the Compare Similar Stories worksheet. Focus on the characters, setting, and events. Underline the information in the text, and rephrase it on the graphic organizer. Point out that this graphic organizer does not require complete sentences.
Guided Practice(20 minutes)
- Distribute a copy of the Venn Diagram Graphic Organizer worksheet to each student and share the titles of the two books that will be used in today’s lesson.
- Invite students to a common space in the classroom and display the two picture books that you will be reading aloud, such as Those Darn Squirrels by Adam Rubin and Those Darn Squirrels Fly South by Adam Rubin, so students can see the covers.
- Read aloud the first book and point out information about the characters, setting, and important events that you will want to remember while reading the second book. Then, read aloud the second book and stop periodically to guide students in filling out the Venn Diagram Graphic Organizer worksheet.
- Continue with the read aloud and completion of the Venn Diagram Graphic Organizer worksheet, but allow the class to take the lead in the discussion and determination of important information to include.
- Show students how to discuss the similarities and differences of the two texts in a discussion format by using the keywords for comparing and contrasting. For example, "A similarity in the texts is that they are both about the squirrels. However, the setting is different in the texts because ____."
Independent working time(15 minutes)
- Distribute a copy of the Comparing Two Fiction Texts worksheet. Instruct students to read the texts independently and complete the Venn diagram in which they will compare and contrast the characters, setting, and events.
- Support struggling readers by allowing them to read aloud the texts in the independent work section in partnerships.
- Provide a word bank for students to access and place items on the Venn diagram graphic organizers.
- Display the following sentence stems:
- Both texts _____.
- A similarity in the texts is _____.
- A difference between the two texts is _____.
- The texts are different because _____.
- Have students color code the text and the graphic organizer to see how the types of information are connected.
Enrichment: Challenge advanced students to find two texts from the same author to compare and contrast. Have them read the texts in partners and complete a Venn diagram. Instruct them to focus on comparing and contrasting the characters, setting, events, and theme in the two stories.
- Put students into A-B partnerships to go over the Venn diagram from the Comparing Two Fiction Texts worksheet. Instruct them to go over what they wrote in the Venn diagram, putting a checkmark next to items that match between them and discussing any discrepancies they find.
- Collect the independent work from students to serve as a formative assessment.
Review and closing(2 minutes)
- Call on nonvolunteers to share the process that good readers use to compare and contrast. Ask, "How do good readers effectively compare and contrast when reading two texts?"
- Prompt students to think about why it is important for readers to be able to compare and contrast two different fiction texts. Review the key words we use for comparing and contrasting.