A Scaffolded Compare and Contrast Essay Usually we teach students to write a compare and contrast essay by modeling expectations, and then having students write their own independently. This leaves out a very important step — the scaffolded essay. All of my 3rd grade students — even my more advanced and gifted students — benefited from additional scaffolding when writing any essay, but especially a compare and contrast essay.
After students brainstorm similarities and differences for the topic they will be writing their essay over, provide students with a scaffolded rough draft using paragraph frames similar to the ones in the previous section.
This helps students stay on topic and helps model what a good compare and contrast essay should look like. Eventually, as students get more and more practice, you will take the scaffolding away. I wanted my students to think more critically and more deeply. I found the best way to encourage deeper thinking was to ask students some questions before watching the movie so that they would be thinking more critically while watching the movie.
This also helped my 3rd graders think about what they expected from the movie. Then, after the movie, I encouraged my students to think about very specific details about the book and movie, rather than just comparing and contrasting using the first thing that popped into their heads. Not all of the questions I asked were directly related to comparing and contrasting the book and the movie, but these questions got students thinking more critically, which made their comparisons later more thoughtful.
Will it be messy, small, bright, noisy, beautiful, spooky, cold, colorful, etc? Think about today's society. How do our time period and culture affect the role that fathers play in our families? Activity: Want Ad Pick two universal traits for ideal fathers, whether they come from the 17th, the 19th, or the 21st century. Then pick two more traits that you believe are unique to modern fathers. Use the four traits you select to develop a want ad for an ideal 21st century father.
Creating a real-world task and asking students to stretch their thinking beyond the original context increases transfer and helps students find deeper meaning in the content. How does their work compare with yours? Student Work from the Lesson Figure 1. Activity: Reflecting on Section 1 1. How did the strategy help Joanne to achieve her goals? How did the phases of the strategy support the principles of the strategy?
How is it different? To prepare, you should do the following things before you move on: Keep an eye out for students who use comparative thinking in your classroom.
What steps do you notice them taking? How comfortable are they with comparison? Take note of these instances, and be ready to share them as you proceed through the following sections. All rights reserved. No part of this publication—including the drawings, graphs, illustrations, or chapters, except for brief quotations in critical reviews or articles—may be reproduced or transmitted in any form or by any means, electronic or mechanical, including photocopy, recording, or any information storage and retrieval system.
Requesting Permission For photocopy, electronic and online access, and republication requests, go to the Copyright Clearance Center. Enter the book title within the "Get Permission" search field. Without it, students with little motivation may not write the essay. Walk around asking who needs a little help to get more participation from reluctant learners. Explain that after writing their essay, students should edit and revise.
They should continue the cycle of editing and revising until they are satisfied with the quality of their essay. Explain the advantages of revising on the computer. Staple a rubric to each essay and have students evaluate them. Be sure to check off on a roster the names of students who turn in essays because they could be stolen during the peer evaluation activity.
This helps peers recognize that the essay is incomplete. More importantly, taking their paper forces them to participate in the evaluation activity rather than trying to finish the essay in class.
Show students how to access the Comparison and Contrast Guide so that they can refer to the resource as they like while writing. More recently, Marzano's research in The Art and Science of Teaching reconfirmed that asking students to identify similarities and differences through comparative analysis leads to eye-opening gains in student achievement.
Phase Two: Comparison Joanne now moves her students into the comparison phase by having them work with partners to identify similarities and differences between the two households and then to record those similarities and differences using the Top Hat Organizer see Figure 1. Review and closing 5 minutes Review students' conclusions about the book series that they studied. Explain that when comparing, students should mention differences but focus on similarities.
Be sure to choose items which students are familiar with so that the process of comparing the objects will be clearer to them. More recently, Marzano's research in The Art and Science of Teaching reconfirmed that asking students to identify similarities and differences through comparative analysis leads to eye-opening gains in student achievement. Refer to examples on the charts to clarify the difference between the two terms. For example, how should the movie portray what a character is thinking?
If they decide to contrast a specific element between two books, they will look for differences and write about those differences. A classroom poster highlighting these four phases for students is included in this guide. Discuss reasons for learning to write about similarities and differences.
Using the book The Tale of Despereaux, students look a closer look at medieval times to see if the novel accurately portrays this time in history. The links below are also affiliate links. Tell students to read their essay aloud or to have someone else read it to them to catch any errors. I wanted my students to think more critically and more deeply.
Intermediate Use sentence frames to support students in summarizing books and identifying the main idea. Although it seems simple, students doing it for the first time perform better if they aren't rushed through this step. Many tenth graders have difficulty thinking of these words if this step is skipped. Either mark these similarities using a different colored pen, or create a new chart with the column headings of "Comparison" and "Contrast. Instead, they simply wrote down the first things that came into their head, which usually were surface level observations.
American Folklore: A Jigsaw Character Study Groups of students read and discuss American folklore stories, each group reading a different story.
Have students compare only two or three series. After 10 minutes, share and discuss their observations and conclusions as a class. Why or why not?
Will it be messy, small, bright, noisy, beautiful, spooky, cold, colorful, etc? They will apply the criteria and decide whether the series is episodic or epic. As you read the essays, keep notes on the aspects to review and share with the class later. She is the author of four books. In this section you will Reflect on your own experiences with comparative thinking strategies.
She uses the questions in Figure 1. For a no prep way to have students compare and contrast a book with its movie, check out my Book Vs. Save your class draft of the introduction and the section on similarities.