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Lesson Plan

Exploring Compare and Contrast Structure in Expository Texts

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Exploring Compare and Contrast Structure in Expository Texts

Grades 3 – 5
Lesson Plan Type Standard Lesson
Estimated Time Four 45- to 60-minute sessions
Lesson Author

Emily Manning

Emily Manning

Denton, Texas


International Literacy Association


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  • Published Comments

Haley Rasmusson

October 05, 2014

I am student teaching and I was looking for a lesson to do with my second graders that would keep them engaged during their literacy time. This is a great lesson plan that I think my children will definitely enjoy and be able to follow along with and learn from it.



January 23, 2014

Will try this lesson


Maureen Gambino

November 11, 2013

I found the materials to be very helpful in creating a 2nd grade lesson aligned to the CCLS. The rubrics are a great resource as well. I feel that students should be able to use a venn diagram to compare and contrast but I have also seen a "Tophat" compare/contrast graphic organizer which is easier for the students to write their details in. The "Tophat" GO has been on some state tests as well. Students need to be taught to organize their details in many ways.


Bobbie Delozier

October 27, 2013

This is a wonderful lesson plan that touches on so many different ways of teaching Compare and Contrast. I think the Compare and Contrast tool kit along with the Venn diagram will help students who are visual learners understand the concept much better then simply discussing the text. This lesson plan teaches several different ways which is great because students learn in different ways.



October 26, 2013

This lesson is wonderful on so many different levels. The students learn individually and in groups and also use so many different resources of technology and graphic organizers to learn the concept of how to compare and contrast. The Venn diagram is a great technique to use to teach this lesson as well. I really like how the lesson is very well organized and clearly written in a sequenced process that is easy to understand by educators to teach and students to learn.


Christy Bridges

October 24, 2013

This lesson plan was very detailed and great for a teacher such as myself who is obtaining alternative certification and have not received formal lesson plan "training." I am excited to use this lesson plan with some of my students and am positive it will be successful and beneficial for them all. I am grateful for the explicit details and examples (as previously stated) and feel confident in myself in teaching it. Thank you!


Brandi Killian

October 23, 2013

I enjoyed analyzing this lesson plan. I loved how the lesson plan provided several different sessions and each session provided a different way of teaching the concept of compare and contrast. This I believe is very beneficial in keeping the students engaged. I also liked how the lesson plan had small group work and individual work. Compare and contrast can be a hard topic for students to grasp, but this lesson plan provided several hands on ways to teach this topic that I was able to implement in my classroom.


Jo Beth Moses

October 18, 2013

I have not used this lesson but I have found that this is an excellent lesson. I will be using this lesson for my students. Some of my student have trouble comparing and contrasting. The activities of this lesson will help these students understand what they are reading/ and help them brianstorm. The different diagrams and grahphics will help them understand also. I like this lesson.


Rebekah M

December 02, 2012

Thank you so much for this lesson!! It is aligned to Common Core RI.3.8 and has worked perfectly for my students.


Julie Kennedy

October 22, 2012

This is an excellent lesson plan. I like the ideas presented of using small groups and the whole class to help compare and contrast in the text they are reading. It helps each student individually, but allows the full class to gain from one another where a student may have missed the main ideas of the session.


Amy Cavness

October 21, 2012

I really like how this lesson covers all areas of learning. The students have individual and group learning and they learn in different ways, such as internet, class discussions, visually, and on paper. There are many ways for each individual student to understand the concept of compare and contrast. She reminds us to read over the paragraphs in the Paragraph Practice worksheet to help the struggling and ELL students.
I like how she mentions at the end of the lesson to decide as a class how everyone wants to remember the information they learned about compare and contrast and Venn diagrams. This is encouraging them to continue using the tools they learned from this lesson.


CoCo Reed

October 21, 2012

Thought this was a good plan, have not had the chance to try it and I dont think I would make any changes to it.


Sherri Shirrell

October 21, 2012

I found this to be a very good lesson plan on the Compare and Contrast Text Structure. Each session was very well laid out in a step by step process. The forms/handouts were clearly defined for each task. I especially liked the Venn Diagram and the Compare and Contrast Tool Kit, which I think are both very useful tools. The Comparison and Contrast Guide is also a very useful link, with all of the resources and examples within it. I would definitely use this as a guide for a similar lesson plan.


Matt Ball

October 21, 2012

This is an excellent lesson for teaching reading comprehension. The techniques of compare and contrast is important because it challenges the students to have a real understanding of what they are reading. So many of my students struggle with compare and contrast question. I really liked the idea of using a venn diagram as a teaching technique.


Jo Beth Moses

October 19, 2012

I think this lesson will be great I have not tried this but I will for sure do so. I believe that my students will enjoy this and will learn how to compare and contrast. It will help my student brainstrom and increase their thinking skills to come up with how things are different and alike. I will be doing this with my students with many different words.


Julie Margenthaler

October 19, 2012

I loved how you used different types of graphic organizers, cooperative learning and technology.


Sylvia Ellis

October 18, 2012

I had not tried this particular lesson, However,what I found most interesting as I implemented this lesson plan was some of my students were having difficulting showing a relationship between the words, compare and contrast. As I contiuned with this lesson I used clue words on my chart and they immediately began to comprehend the text structure. I also found the Group Skill Tracking Sheet to be helpful with keeping my students focused and on task. I did make a change with the definition . Insetead of comparing and contracting the words nest and house, I used the words boy and girl and different and similar.


Kevin Swain

October 18, 2012

I would like some information in teaching children that are severely handicapped how to compare and contrast texts and if their lesson plans or if there is a extra web site that I could use please let me know.


Sylvia Ellis

October 18, 2012

No I havenít used this lesson plan. However, what I found most interesting was the way my students comprehended their text structure. Some of my students were struggling comparing and contrasting the chosen vocabulary word. Once I used clue words they immediately comprehended each word. My students also preferred using the words difference and similar. I used different vocabulary words to compare and contrast the two words. I also used other words, such as, boy and girl with the same procedures. The Group Skill Tracking Sheet was also helpful with keeping my students on task and focused. This was an exciting lesson to help with the development of my students reading comprehension.


Lindsay Rhodes

October 15, 2012

I thought this article gave a few good activities to help students understand more about compare and contrast and apply their knowledge to the activities. When I was in school, the only way my teachers had me learn compare and contrast was using Venn Diagrams. These diagrams did help me, but I was never exposed to other activities/strategies for helping me with compare and contrast. I thought all of the activities (even the Venn Diagram activity) were helpful for the students in better understanding the terms compare and contrasts. The activities provided a variety of strategies for students with different learning styles.


Brandie Klinkhardt

October 15, 2012

I have not used this lesson plan, but would like to use this one in the furture with my students. THis lesson plan appears to spread out teaching comparisons and contrasting in a way that students can easily grasp the concept. I like that this lesson plan starts out with doing a chart with the students, then asking them to get into groups to try it on their own. This lesson plan uses a variety of teaching styles which I find very important when teaching. All students do not learn in the same way. I also found it interesting that this lesson teaches the students cue words to look for when comparing and contrasting. This makes it easier and gives the students a model so to speak.


Weldon Brown

October 15, 2012

I found this article very interesting and informative. Understanding compare and contrast is very improtant in the success of readers. Being able to compare and contrast, helps readers be able to get more out of what he or she is reading. The Venn Diagram, I believe can be very helpful in the classroom. Applying the Venn Diagram will help studnets with understanding compare and cntrast concepts.


Weldon Brown

October 15, 2012

I found this article very interesting and informative. Understanding compare and contrast is very improtant in the success of readers. Being able to compare and contrast, helps readers be able to get more out of what he or she is reading. The Venn Diagram, I believe can be very helpful in the classroom. Applying the Venn Diagram will help studnets with understanding compare and cntrast concepts.


Kat Cooke

October 15, 2012

I am a 29 yr. EC teacher in an Elementary School. I was searching for something to teach compare and contrast to my 5th gr. EC students for a formal observation. I googled "compare contrast lesson plans" and it brought me to this site. I absolutely love your lessoon plan and shared it with all the 5th grade teachers in my school...they also LOVED it. Thanks for sharing....you must be an awesome teacher! My kids loved it and understood the concept and felt great being successful with the activities linked in your plan.



October 15, 2012

Really great lesson plan. The steps provided for excellent reinforcement as students added new knowledge to old. I also appreciated the emphasis on group learning and practice.


Heather Lipps

October 14, 2012

I thought this lesson plan was an excellent way to introduce compare and contrast to students. I thought this lesson plan could be used not only in Language Arts, but also in other subjects. At the school I teach at, cooperative learning is a huge focus for all of our classrooms. I teach Special Education, but I can see how I could easily adapt this lesson plan to make it work perfect for my students. The opportunity for the students to do cooperative learning, allows them to share their ideas with their classmates and strengthens their understanding of what comparing and contrasting means. I also thought the lesson plan was awesome because it allowed the teacher to teach the children about comparison clue words. I am looking forward to trying this lesson with my students.



October 14, 2012

This a great lesson plan. It is very detailed and easy to follow. I believe that it would be an effective lesson to teach to my middle school students. Compare and Contrast is important to the understanding and comprehending of the material being read. I plan on using this lesson plan in my class.



May 06, 2011

This is an awesome lesson. My students enjoyed it and learned from it.


Colleen Hunt

April 07, 2011

I am looking for resources to recommend to colleagues, and to use in my fourth grade classroom. I am experiencing downloading and printing issues, as well as re-format issues, making it difficult for me to reasonably use the resources. The overall lesson plan is very sound, though. I will recommend it, in the hopes that you will be able to work out some of the download challenges.


Kaylee Olney, RWT Staff

March 30, 2010

Hi Rob, You're probably experiencing technical difficulties with the PDF links because you don't have the latest version of Adobe Acrobat Reader on your computer. You can download it for free by clicking the red Acrobat Reader icon button on our Site Tools page: http://www.readwritethink.org/util/help.html.

If you find that you do have the latest version of Acrobat Reader, a communication problem between Internet Explorer 8 and Acrobat Reader 9 may be to blame. If you're working on a PC/Windows computer, you can download a security patch at http://windowsupdate.microsoft.com that should solve the problem. Another option would be to use the Firefox browser on your PC since the PDFs show up fine in that browser. You can download Firefox free at http://www.mozilla.com/firefox. Please contact us if that doesn't solve your problem so that we may investigate further.



March 21, 2010

The tracking skills form is damaged and will not open. Can yo please replace it or tell me where else I can get it?


Susan Kays

February 08, 2010

I attempted to print out the lesson plan and resources, including the Venn diagram and had difficulties. The print of the lesson plan was scrunched up, so that some lines were difficult to read. Additionally, the Venn diagram "printable" was not in a format that my Word 2007 could read, in spite of the Windows default. I am disappointed, as I had hoped to use this lesson for presentation in my master's class.



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