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Compare Contrast Essay Template For Kids

Materials and Technology

Student Interactives

Printouts

Preparation

 

MATERIALS AND TECHNOLOGY

  • LCD Projector hooked to a computer with a word processor, or an overhead projector

  • Word processor software

  • General classroom supplies (pencils, paper, etc.)

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STUDENT INTERACTIVES

Grades   3 – 12  |  Student Interactive  |  Organizing & Summarizing

Comparison and Contrast Guide

The Comparison and Contrast Guide outlines the characteristics of the genre and provides direct instruction on the methods of organizing, gathering ideas, and writing comparison and contrast essays.

 

Grades   3 – 12  |  Student Interactive  |  Organizing & Summarizing

Compare & Contrast Map

The Compare & Contrast Map is an interactive graphic organizer that enables students to organize and outline their ideas for different kinds of comparison essays.

 

Grades   K – 12  |  Student Interactive  |  Organizing & Summarizing

Venn Diagram

This interactive tool allows students to create Venn diagrams that contain two or three overlapping circles, enabling them to organize their information logically.

 

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PRINTOUTS

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PREPARATION

  • Set the projector up so that the teacher is facing the class and able to type the text (or write easily on the overhead) and the class is able to follow along.

  • Familiarize yourself with the basic commands of the word processor on the computer that you're using.

  • Test the Venn Diagram student interactive, Comparison and Contrast Guide, and Compare and Contrast Map on your computers to familiarize yourself with the tools and ensure that you have the Flash plug-in installed. You can download the plug-in from the technical support page.

  • Prior to this lesson, students should have learned how to write introductions and conclusions. The ReadWriteThink lesson Leading to Great Places in the Elementary Classroom can be a useful resource for exploring introductory sentences.

  • (optional) For background information on the compare and contrast essay format, see Literacy Education Online's Comparison/Contrast Essays.

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Sometimes teachers get stuck thinking that their students have to write a full blown compare and contrast essay (including all of the steps of the writing process) every time they write. Don’t get stuck thinking this way!

Students don’t have to write an entire essay every time you want them to practice comparing and contrasting within their writing – students can practice this skill just by writing a paragraph, or even a sentence!

As you begin incorporating this into your lessons, provide scaffolding through sentence starters or paragraph frames. This is especially beneficial for your ELL and low language students, but ALL of your students will benefit from this strategy.

Example Sentence Starters
1. _______________ and _______________ are different because _______________.

2. _______________ and _______________ are alike because _______________.

3. The most important difference between _______________ and _______________ is _______________.

4. An important similarity between _______________ and _______________ is _______________.

After students have been successful at writing sentences that compare and contrast, expand to short paragraphs. Provide similar scaffolding to help your 3rd grade, 4th grade, or 5th grade students be successful.

Example Paragraph Frames

1. _______________ and _______________ have many differences. The most important difference is ______________________________. Another difference is ______________________________. Finally, ______________________________.

2. _______________ and _______________ are similar in many ways. For example, _________________________. Furthermore, they both _________________________. A final similarity is _________________________.

This scaffolding not only provides students with a model for how to compare and contrast in their writing, but it also improves their own writing.

You might also find these ideas on integrating writing into text features, character traits, or point of view helpful.