Personal tools

Build Mastery: Comparison and Contrast

From FreeReading

Jump to: navigation, search
Lesson Type: Build Mastery
Grade: K, 1, 2, 3
Group Size: Individual, Pair, Small Group
Length: 15 minutes
Goal: Given a book, students will use a Venn diagram to illustrate the differences and similarities between two distinct elements in that book.

Materials: Leveled readers, board or chart paper, copies of the Venn Diagram (print here) for each student

What to Do


Make sure that the book you are going to use has two elements that can be compared and contrasted. Make copies of the Venn Diagram for each student. Make a large version of the Venn Diagram on the board or chart paper.


1. Explain the lesson.

Today we are going to use a Venn diagram to compare and contrast two things in the book we are going to read.

2. Explain how to complete the Venn Diagram.

When you are reading, you are going to find two things to compare and contrast. A Venn diagram has two circles. One circle will be for one thing and the other circle will be for the other thing. You will write the differences in the outer parts of the circle. You will write the similarities in the common area.

You may choose to shade the areas in different colors to make clear to students where to write the differences and where to write the similarities. Point out that where the circles overlap is where we write similarities because those things are true for both circles.

Let’s do an example. I’m going to pretend I have two students in my class named Sarah and Billy. One circle will be for Sarah and one will be for Billy. Sarah is a girl so in her circle I will write girl. Billy is a boy so in his circle I will write boy. This is a way that they are different. Both Sarah and Billy are students so I will write students in the middle area. This is a way that they are similar.


3. Students read the book and complete the Venn Diagram.

4. Make sure that each student has chosen an appropriately leveled book and monitor their completion of the graphic organizer.

5. Make sure that students are finding similarities and differences and recording them in the correct spaces on the Venn Diagram. Ask students questions like:

  • Does this only describe __________?
  • Is this true for both __________?
  • What is different about __________?
  • What is the same about __________?


For Advanced Students:

You may choose to have these students practice using the Venn Diagram by having them read another book and compare and contrast the two books using another copy of the sheet.

For Struggling Students:

These students may have difficulty knowing where to record information on the Venn Diagram. Ask them to write down all of the similarities in the shared space and the differences in the outer circle parts.

For ELL Students:

Before reading the book, explain the meaning of any key vocabulary or concepts. These students may need help understanding where to write the similarities and where to write the differences. Shade the shared area lightly with a colored pencil to highlight that this is where to write the similarities.

Related activities