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Students will be able to compare and contrast themes and patterns of events in literature.
- Call students together around the copies of books that they have read throughout the year. Have a blank Venn diagram posted.
- Ask students if they know what the diagram is. Explain that a Venn diagram is used to compare and contrast things. The ways that they are different go in the parts of the circles not overlapping and the ways that they are the same go in the part of the circle that overlaps.
- Ask students if they know what a collage is. Explain that a collage is a type of artwork made by pasting different things onto a single surface.
- Point out all of the different books that were read this year. Ask the students about different ways they could sort these stories. Some examples you could give are: by topic, by part of the world, by genre.
- Provide students with an example of a completed Venn diagram, comparing and contrasting two simple objects such as apples and oranges.
- Define "topic," "genre," "compare," and "contrast" in student-friendly terms, and in students' home languages, if applicable. Show students real collages or pictures of collages on the internet.
Explicit Instruction/Teacher modeling(10 minutes)
- Ask students to think about some themes or topics present in several of these stories. Brainstorm a list of these as a class.
- Decide as a group on a theme or topic to use for the blank Venn diagram that was posted. Write the theme or topic across the very top of the Venn diagram paper.
- Have students think about which books incorporate the topic. Based on the books students think of, choose two from different genres. These should be used for the circles on the Venn diagram.
- Students should then think about these stories and elements that are the same and different.
- Pass out the old magazines, so students can visually represent these ideas. Demonstrate or have students demonstrate how to decide where to place the pictures in the diagram based on whether it applies to both stories or only to one story. Encourage students to add words or short phrases to explain the images they choose for the collage.
- Provide students with a theme phrase bank to choose from (e.g., good vs. evil, overcoming a challenge, compassion, science fiction, keeping traditions, etc.).
- Display sentence frames or stems to help students discuss and compare the books: "The two stories both have ____ as a theme," and "The stories are different in that the first ____, while the second ____."
Guided Practice(5 minutes)
- Hand out paper to students and have each of the students draw a blank Venn diagram.
- Have each of the students choose one of the brainstormed topics (or other ones they come up with by themselves).
- Have students think about the different stories and decide on two they have read with this theme. Students should use these for the circles on their Venn diagram the same way the class labeled the model diagram.
- Have students work in pairs to help each other start their individual Venn diagrams.
- After a few minutes, have students start working on their own.
- Work with beginner students in a small teacher-led group to help compare and contrast the books.
- Allow ELs to complete the activity from beginning to end with a partner (i.e., one Venn diagram for two students).
Independent working time(15 minutes)
- As students work independently, walk around to answer questions, correct misconceptions, and provide assistance as needed.
- Maintain a central location for returning and exchanging magazines to help control noise and confusion.
- Provide students with simpler texts to choose from for the Venn diagram activity. Predetermine the theme of the two texts and provide a partially completed Venn diagram.
- Allow ELs literate in their home language to use bilingual resources or books in their home language for the comparison.
- Allow students who need extra help to draw pictures or write words in their Venn diagrams. This gives them alternative methods of expression and reduces the number of magazine images they need to find in order to fill their circles.
- Encourage students who need a greater challenge to turn their Venn diagram into a written report that compares and contrasts. This report should include multiple paragraphs and, depending on timing, could even go through the entire writing process (i.e., revision, editing, and publishing).
- Informal evaluations of student work and understanding can be done during the initial class discussion and while monitoring student progress during Independent Working Time.
- More formal evaluations of student growth can occur by examining the completed student collages for accuracy and detail. Student sharing of their collages can also be used as a form of evaluation.
- Have students orally present their collage in small groups.
- Provide sentence frames to help students begin their presentation: "My collage compares and contrasts the theme of ____, present in the two books ____ and ____. They are similar in that ____. They are different in that this book ____, but that book ____."
Review and closing(15 minutes)
- Call students together to share their Venn diagrams.
- Have them think about things that were on multiple Venn diagrams. Ask them some closing questions: What are some of the most interesting things that got compared/contrasted? What were the things that appeared most commonly?
- Provide sentence stems to help students discuss: "A topic that was compared and contrasted most frequently was ____," and "I noticed that many students compared ____ in their collages."
- Allow students to work in pairs to discuss their observations and findings prior to participating in the whole group discussion.