Skip to contentContribute to ReadWriteThink / RSS / FAQs / Site Demonstrations / Contact Us / About Us

 

 

Contribute to ReadWriteThink

ReadWriteThink couldn't publish all of this great content without literacy experts to write and review for us. If you've got lessons plans, videos, activities, or other ideas you'd like to contribute, we'd love to hear from you.

More

 

Professional Development

Find the latest in professional publications, learn new techniques and strategies, and find out how you can connect with other literacy professionals.

More

 

Did You Know?

Your students can save their work with Student Interactives.

More more

Home Classroom Resources Lesson Plans

Lesson Plan

Comparing and Contrasting: Picturing an Organizational Pattern

E-mail / Share / Print This Page / Print All Materials (Note: Handouts must be printed separately)

 

Comparing and Contrasting: Picturing an Organizational Pattern

Grades 6 – 8
Lesson Plan Type Standard Lesson
Estimated Time Two 50-minute sessions
Lesson Author

Deborah Dean

Deborah Dean

Provo, Utah

Publisher

National Council of Teachers of English

 

Overview

Featured Resources

From Theory to Practice

 

OVERVIEW

Students investigate picture books organized in comparison/contrast structures to discover methods of organization (usually a combination of the point-by-point, whole-to-whole, or similarities-to-differences patterns) and the ways authors use transitions to guide readers. Students can then decide what organizational patterns and transitional words work best to accomplish their individual purposes in writing and apply those to their papers.

This lesson is designed to be used during a unit when students are writing a comparison/contrast paper. It will be most helpful prior to drafting, but it could also be useful during revision.

back to top

 

FEATURED RESOURCES

Comparison and Contrast Rubric: Use this rubric to evaluate the purpose and supporting details; organization; transitions; and conventions of students' comparison and contrast papers.

Comparison and Contrast Guide: This online tool provides students with information about and resources for using comparison and contrast structures in their writing.

Interactive Venn Diagram: Students use this online tool to compare and contrast the details of two books. The tool can also be used to organize ideas for a compare and contrast essay.

back to top

 

FROM THEORY TO PRACTICE

In Strategic Writing, Dean makes an argument and provides strategies for using model texts to help students develop structures for writing. Research into reading-writing connections supports that argument and those strategies: "reading like a writer allows one to actually become a writer" (Langer and Flihan, 118). In fact, in the conclusion to Children Reading and Writing, Judith Langer maintains that "models of more complex forms need to permeate the children's environment" (139). Teaching students how to access models to acquire writing strategies is an important part of learning to read and write effectively. Such strategic instruction can stay with students well beyond a specific assignment. Although many prose texts use comparison/contrast structures in passages, picture books are often perceived as more accessible to students, and therefore function better as mentor texts, as Carr et al. note: "Often students who are struggling with the length and complexity of an assigned novel miss the subtleties of the author's craft" (148).

Further Reading

Carr, Kathryn S., et al. "Not Just for the Primary Grades: A Bibliography of Picture Books for Secondary Content Teachers." Journal of Adolescent and Adult Literacy 45.2 (October 2001): 146-153.

 

Dean, Deborah. Strategic Writing: The Writing Process and Beyond in the Secondary English Classroom. Urbana, IL: NCTE 2006.

Read more about this resource

 

Langer, Judith A. 1986. Children Reading and Writing: Structures and Strategies. Norwood, NJ: Ablex Publishing.

 

Langer, Judith A. and Sheila Flihan. 2000. "Writing and Reading Relationships: Constructive Tasks." in Perspectives on Writing: Research, Theory, and Practice. Roselmina Indrisano and James R. Squire, Eds. Newark, DE: International Reading Association.

back to top