Compare and contrast are two writing skills that are developed during the 4th grade. In the following lesson plan you will be walking your students through a writing activity that will introduce them to the steps required for comparing and contrasting two or more subjects.
Goals and Objects
The goals and objectives for this lesson plan are to introduce students to the concepts of compare and contrast. After completing this lesson students will be able to define “compare” and “contrast,” as well as be able to compare and contrast two or more subjects.
Before you jump into a writing project it is a good idea to define “compare” and “contrast” for your students. This can be done with a short lecture and it can be reinforced by hanging out a printable on compare/contrast. This printable can be a short worksheet where students are asked to compare and contrast two subjects, or it can be a definition worksheet which helps students to take notes on compare/contrast.
The activity portion of this lesson plan will be made up to two 15 minute writing activities. The first writing activity will involve giving the students two subjects to compare and contrast. The two items can be related, such as a science book and a social studies book, or they can be two unrelated items like an apple and an orange. Have your student create two lists. One list will be the compare list which examines things that the two subjects have in common and one list will be the contrast list which will examine where the items differ.
The second writing activity will be a student compare and contrast writing activity that will require a little more effort. For this project you will split your students up into groups of two. Each student will be given five minutes to interview their partner. They will use this information to write a one page essay that compares and contrasts their partner to themselves.
Homework and Follow up
For a homework assignment students will be asked to create one or two writing journal entries about compare and contrast. They can select any two things that they want. The entry should be at least one page long.
A follow up exercise that you can complete is having your students turn one of their compare and contrast journal entries into a longer essay or oral presentation. You can work this activity into another lesson plan for science, social studies or even math.