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Reintroduce: Comparison and Contrast

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Lesson Type: Reintroduce
Grade: K, 1, 2, 3
Group Size: Small Group, Large Group, Whole Class
Length: 15 minutes
Goal: Given a book, students will compare and contrast two of its elements on a chart.

Materials: A picture, fiction, or nonfiction book to read out loud, chart paper or board, copies of the T Chart (print here) for each student

What to Do


Choose a book that appeals to early readers. If you are using a picture or fiction book, choose a book with two main characters. If you are using a nonfiction book, choose one with information on two different things (two different animals, for instance). Make copies of the T Chart for each student. Make a large version of the T Chart on the board or chart paper.


1. Review the meanings of the terms compare and contrast.

Who can remember what the term compare means? Who can remember what the word contrast means? What does it mean to compare and contrast two things?

2. Record students’ answers on chart paper or the board and clarify the definitions of the terms as necessary.

That’s right. When we compare and contrast we find ways two things are alike and the ways they are different.

3. Explain why comparing and contrasting are useful to readers.

Good readers make comparisons and contrasts when they are reading. They think about the ways characters are the same and the ways they are different. This helps them understand the characters better. We can also do this to think about the ways two animals or two books are the same and different. It’s important to compare and contrast when we are reading because it helps us be more focused.

4. Introduce the book.

Today we will be reading _________________________ by __________________. What do you think that this book is about?

Allow students to answer.

5. Direct students to the large copy of the T Chart.

We will use this chart to help us keep track of similarities and differences while we read. On one side, we will write down what we find out about __________. On the other side, we will write down what we find out about __________.

Some of these may be the same and some may be different. For example, if we were reading about dogs and people, one thing that might be written in both columns is “have two eyes.” In the dog column, we might write “barks” and in the people column we might write “talks.” These are differences.

6. Read the first part of the book, pausing when you get to important information. Model how to record comparisons and contrasts on the T Chart.


7. Direct students to their copies of the T Chart.

You are going to fill in your own T Chart as I read. I will pause to give you time to write. Listen carefully for ways __________ and __________ are the same and ways they are different.

8. Read the book, pausing for students to complete their T Charts.

9. Finish completing the T Chart.

10. Ask students to turn to a partner to share the information on their T Charts.

Now we will share with a partner. Turn to a partner and take turns telling your partner what is similar and what is different about __________ and __________. If your partner has something that you do not have, you can add it to your chart.

11. Hold a class discussion about the similarities and differences between the two things.


For Advanced Students:

You may choose to have these students practice by having them fill in an additional T Chart comparing and contrasting two books they have recently read. Are the books both fiction? Are the main characters both girls?

For Struggling Students:

Some students may struggle with identifying similarities and differences. You may choose to have them circle the similarities in one color and the differences in another. Ask questions like:

What do both of these things do/ have? How are these things the same? How are these things different? What does __________ do/have that __________ does not?

For ELL Students:

Before reading the book, explain the meaning of any key vocabulary or concepts.

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