Comparison & Contrast Paragraph Writing Using Two Texts

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SWBAT write effective informative paragraph(s) by selecting evidence from two separate texts and writing about them in a comparison/contrast paragraph.

Big Idea

We focus on writing about more than one text! This is an important and exciting development in our ability to synthesize.

Assign Pre-Writing for Comparison & Contrast

10 minutes

I will ask the students to complete the attached graphic organizer on their Chromebooks and then begin writing a Comparison Contrast Writing paragraph.  This activity is an assessment in its own right (W.9-10.10) but also is a precursor to their semester papers in which they will be expected to write a full comparison/contrast paper (W.9-10.2).

The graphic organizer is self-explanatory, but I know that I will need to ask students to look back over the texts to find the right evidence (RL.9-10.1) and then to transfer their insights into written form (RL.9-10.1).  Our numerous discussions, group activities, and paired discussions will hopefully give them the kind of spontaneous scaffolding (Martin Nystrand's term for this) that is needed to bridge into effective informative writing. 

Model Essay Discussion

20 minutes

After a little bit of preparation time, I will show the students the following example and ask them to identify the following traits of strong, informative writing (W.9-10.2):





Strong Sentences

For each, I will mark up or highlight the sample here.



In American Born Chinese and Home Now they’re similar because it shows how people should return to their real “homes”. Roger finds out what his true home is just like Jin Wang found his true “home”. The quote I chose from American Born Chinese was,”You know Jin I would have saved myself from five hundred years imprisonment beneath a mountain of rock had I only realized how good it is to be a monkey.”(223)  This quote is saying if he had only been true to his real life he wouldn’t have wasted so much of his life just like Jin shouldn’t. If Jin is true to himself he will live a happy and honest life with himself. In comparison Home Now it says,” If you lived here you’d be home now.”(29) This quote is saying if he would’ve stayed with his culture or his past life when he visited downtown with his father it would be different. His life would be different in a good way as in he would be happy and not always upset when going home. He would’ve been home if he stayed true to himself just like the monkey king learned to do. These quotes are related because their both showing how people realized where their true homes are. Both are different in their own way but show the same concept. This concept is being true to yourself and others like Jin to his chinese background and Roger to his real culture where he belongs.

In conclusion each story has it’s differences but both explain the same concept or similarity. Some may explain it in a different way but they mean the same. Be true to yourself and others and you will live a happy, honest life.

Writer's Workshop

20 minutes

The students will have the remainder of the period to work in differentiated pairs.  I have selected pairs because I want to offer some social support but not any kind of distraction that  may come from a larger group.  Too, the type of support that is offered and exchanged should be at the right level because I am arraigning pairings based on progress and writing level.  They will need to focus on getting as much written as possible.  I will step in to each pair by asking differentiated questions, as I will focus on the following topics hierarchically:

1.) What is your topic, points of comparison? (W.9-10.2a)

2.) How will you structure your response and use transitions to have it make a stronger impact? (W.9-10.2c)

3.) How  do you know that you have selected the best evidence for the topic  you have selected?  (W.9-10.2b)

4.) What do you need to get this work fully accomplished? (W.9-10.5)


Most likely, the students will need to complete their writing at home but will have a good start or nearly half of it done before they leave.