Strategy: Comparison and Contrast
Time: 30-90 minutes
Intent: Comparison means to find similarities between or among different objects, ideas, concepts, or phenomena. Contrast means to find differences between or among different objects, ideas, concepts, or phenomena.
- Provide students with two objects, ideas, concepts, or phenomena so they can compare how they are alike and contrast how they are different.
- Some examples to compare contrast are wind power and solar power; low fat diet and high protein diet; students’ grade point averages and scores on the MEAP test; Honda Accord and Toyota Camry, etc.
- In groups, have students discuss the comparisons and contrasts and write down their ideas.
- Have each group prepare a short presentation for the class which includes the following:
- An introduction; the comparison and contrast components; and an analysis of the similarities and differences which leads to a convincing conclusion.
- Comparison and contrast is a good way to help your students clarify ideas and sharpen their analytical skills.
- By focusing students on analyzing pairs of ideas, students’ ability to remember key content is strengthened.
- Student comprehension is improved by highlighting important details, making abstract ideas more concrete, and reducing the confusion between related concepts.
- Have students use the comparison and contrast activity to write an essay. Use some examples or a class discussion to take students through a process model of what to look at when they compare and contrast an issue. This activity is helpful in getting the students started on their comparison and contrast essay assignment.
- As a homework assignment, have students compare and contrast differing ideas in the text they read using a Venn diagram.
Venn diagram example: http://www.eduplace.com/graphicorganizer/pdf/venn.pdf