Let's Compare and Contrast Nonfiction Text!
Students will be able to read and comprehend informational texts.
- Choose two nonfiction books on the same topic from your classroom library. For example, find two books about mammals (e.g. cows and horses).
- Show the students the covers of the books, side by side.
- On the whiteboard, draw a table with two columns, and write "same" on the left side and "different" on the right. Model trying to figure out what both books have in common by saying, "Hmm...I'm trying to figure out what these books have in common, or what is the same in each book. I know that cows have hair and feed their calves milk from their bodies. I also know that horses have hair and feed their foals milk. I think both of these animals are mammals! I'm going to write mammals in the 'same' column."
- Model trying to figure out what is different about both books by saying, "I can tell that each book is about a different animal. One book is about cows and the other is about horses. I'm going to record this information in the 'different' column."
- Allow students a few minutes to brainstorm ideas, and allow them to come up to the board to record their answers.
- Explain that today students will be learning about comparing and contrasting texts on the same topic!
Explicit Instruction/Teacher modeling(10 minutes)
- Write the word "compare" under the word "same" on the table. Next, write the word "contrast" under the word "different" on the table. Explain that when we compare and contrast something, we are figuring out what is the same and different.
- Project the Nonfiction Compare and Contrast worksheet on the whiteboard.
- Explain to students that before they compare and contrast information from a nonfiction text, they are going to practice comparing and contrasting a familiar topic!
- Ask students to raise their hand if they have a pet dog. Ask students to raise their hand if they have a pet cat.
- Write the word "cat" on the left side of the Venn diagram and "dog" on the right side, crossing out and replacing the words Text 1 and Text 2.
- Provide students with an example of how a cat is different than a dog and how a dog is different than a cat. Record the information on the Venn diagram. Next, think about what the two animals have in common. Record this on the overlapping section of the Venn diagram.
- Allow a few students to come up to the board to record their ideas.
- Ask students to do a think-pair-share and come up with another idea of how the two animals are the same or different.
- Explain that comparing and contrasting helps us to think deeply and critically about a topic. This strategy also helps us become better readers because we train our brains to think really hard about what we are reading!
Guided Practice(20 minutes)
- Project the Compare and Contrast: Awesome Athletes! worksheet on the whiteboard.
- Explain that today you will read about two athletes. Explain that athletes are people who play and train for a particular sport. Read each athlete's name aloud—Serena Williams and Mariel Hamm—and ask students to stand and chant their names back to you two times (to help students with correct pronunciation).
- Allow student volunteers to help you read both text passages aloud.
- Circle any words that may stump the students (e.g. professional, training, dedication, paved, record, power), and model looking the definitions up in an online dictionary.
- Put the students into partnerships and have them reread the text again.
- Read Part 2 from the Compare and Contrast: Awesome Athletes! worksheet aloud. Next, read the key aloud to the students.
- Define accomplishment as something someone works hard to achieve. Define belief as something someone believes to be true and important in life.
- Pass out colored highlighters to each partnership and ask the students to highlight the important information that is listed in the key.
- Allow a few students to come up to the board to highlight the important information with whiteboard markers.
Independent working time(10 minutes)
- Have the students complete the sentence frames on the bottom of their Compare and Contrast: Awesome Athletes! worksheet.
- Project pictures of Serena Williams and Mariel Hamm on the whiteboard and allow students to draw illustrations of each athlete on the back of their worksheet if time allows.
Support: Allow students to work with partners during the Independent Work Time and Assessment sections.
- Provide students with tablets (if possible) to look up information about Serena Williams and Mariel Hamm. Encourage them to think of five adjectives that describe each athlete.
- Challenge students to use some of the same (compare) adjectives to describe each athlete and some different (contrast) adjectives as well.
- Pass out the Nonfiction Compare and Contrast worksheet and project it on the board.
- Write "Serena Williams" under Text 1 on the worksheet and "Mariel Hamm" under Text 2.
- Explain to students that they will complete the Venn diagram using the sentence frames and highlighted information from their Compare and Contrast: Awesome Athletes! worksheet.
- Have a student come to the front of the class to share their completed Venn diagram.
- Collect student Venn diagrams and use them to assess future lessons on comparing and contrasting nonfiction text.
Review and closing(10 minutes)
- Provide students with the following discussion questions:
- How are Serena Williams and Mariel Hamm the same?
- How are Serena Williams and Mariel Hamm different?
- Why is it important for readers to compare and contrast information from two texts or books on the same topic?
- How can using a Venn diagram help you compare and contrast?
- Complete a "whip around pass" and have students share out an answer to one of the questions.