The Same or Different? You Decide!
Students will be able to compare and contrast story elements from two fictional stories with similar characters.
- Display a traditional Venn diagram graphic organizer, and then display a copy of the Compare and Contrast Elements of a Story worksheet. Ask students to discuss how the graphic organizers are the same and different.
- Ask students to share their observations of the two graphic organizers, and clarify that these are both used to compare and contrast. Point out to students that they actually just compared and contrasted, which is the goal of the lesson.
- Read the learning objective aloud and have the students repeat it. Explain that today, we will read two stories about a character that struggles. Share that, as we read, we're going to use the compare and contrast strategy to figure out what's similar about the stories and how they are different.
Explicit Instruction/Teacher modeling(15 minutes)
- Introduce the key terms for the lesson by displaying the words on the board with student-friendly definitions. To compare is to find the things that are the same, and to contrast is to find the things that are different. Similarities are things that are the same, and differences are things that are not the same. Story elements are the important parts of the story, such as the characters, setting, problem, and solution.
- Model thinking aloud about images that could help us remember the definitions of the words. Allow students to share their suggestions, too.
- Remind students about two familiar stories, such as Goldilocks and the Three Bears and The Three Little Pigs. Create a T-chart on the board and label each side with the title of one of the stories. Then, think aloud about the story elements of each. Simply list the characters, setting, problem, and solution in each story, and do not compare and contrast at this time.
- Display a teacher copy of the Compare and Contrast Elements of a Story worksheet and begin thinking aloud about what is the same and different in the stories. Utilize the T-chart with the story elements listed for each story as you determine the similarities and differences.
Guided Practice(20 minutes)
- Instruct students to draw a T-chart on a piece of paper or in their Reading Notebook. Have them label the columns with the titles of two picture books with similar characters, such as Thank You, Mr. Falker and The Junkyard Wonders by Patricia Polacco. In each column, list the four story elements (characters, setting, problem, solution) that the class will look at.
- Explain that as you read the two stories aloud, students will jot notes about the characters, setting, problem, and solution in each story.
- Read aloud the two picture books, stopping periodically to guide students to write down notes about the story elements. Have students talk to a partner about the information they recorded on their T-charts. Allow them to make any adjustments to ensure they have the correct descriptions of each story element.
- Distribute the Compare and Contrast Elements of a Story worksheets and put students into small groups. Instruct them to use their notes from the T-chart to compare and contrast the story elements. Have them begin with just the characters, and then go over student answers together as a class.
- Direct small groups to complete the section for the setting of the two stories. Go over them as a class.
- Remind learners that when we use our notes where we simply identified the story elements, we are able to remember the important details about the text. This helps us to compare and contrast two stories.
Independent working time(10 minutes)
- Instruct students to complete the remaining two sections (problem and solution) of the Compare and Contrast Elements of a Story worksheet. Remind them to utilize the T-chart from the story element descriptions they created during the read aloud.
- Guide a small group of students through the Guided Practice task.
- Provide sentence frames for students to use when sharing answers.
- Allow students to use the Story Elements: Compare and Contrast worksheet instead of creating their own T-chart.
- Instruct advanced students to read longer fictional texts with similar characters, such as The Magic Tree House series, and compare and contrast the story elements. Have them begin with a graphic organizer, such as the Compare and Contrast Elements of a Story worksheet. They will then write a short essay about the similarities and differences of the stories.
- Give each student an index card for the Exit Ticket. Have them complete the following sentence frames based on the two fictional stories read aloud today:
- The biggest difference between the two texts is...
- The biggest similarity between the two texts is...
Review and closing(3 minutes)
- Have students share their sentence frames and initiate a class discussion about whether students agree or disagree about the biggest similarities and differences between the two stories. Allow students to discuss, defend, and refine their conclusions.
- Share that being able to compare and contrast helps us improve our reading comprehension because we are thinking about the important details and making connections between different stories. This skill helps us remember what we read.