Compare and Contrast Informational Text

11 teachers like this lesson
Print Lesson


SWBAT compare and contrast the most important points and key details presented in two texts on the same topic.

Big Idea

Students use a Venn diagram to keep track of key details that are alike and different in two articles.

Modeling and Guided Practice

20 minutes

To begin the lesson, I told students we were going to read two articles about frogs and compare and contrast the key details. I asked students if they remembered what tool is used to compare and contrast information. They told me a Venn diagram. They were able to explain that information unique to each article should be written on the outside circle and information that found in both should be written in the center. I displayed a Venn on the document camera. They reminded me to write the name of each article next to circle. I’d created questions for students to answer that required them read both articles to find the information. I modeled reading the two texts to answer the first question. I highlighted the information. The information was found in both articles, so I wrote it in the center of the diagram. I explained that the key detail was found in both articles, so the answer was “both.” I modeled doing the same with the next question. After modeling, I guided students through comparing and contrasting the remaining questions. 

Independent Practice

20 minutes

Students were given two more article to read on the same subject. They worked with a partner to read, highlight, complete the Venn diagram, and answer the questions. I observed students having conversations about which details were found in either or both articles. They read the articles aloud to each other or two themselves first. Then they worked together to highlight the information and write it in the appropriate place on the Venn diagram. The buzz in the room was music to my ears.

(Similar articles can be found at


10 minutes

Students were assessed on the number of correct responses. Incorrect responses were circled on their paper and given back for correction. 80% was considered mastery. I was pleasantly surprised that most students scored 100% and those who did not had only one incorrect response. When I asked students with incorrect responses to show me where they found the information, they had not taken the time to highlight the information and write it on the Venn diagram. I reiterated that they should follow the steps taught.


5 minutes

To close the lesson, I asked students to state which part of the process was most helpful. Most students said highlighting helped them the most. It helped them remember where they found the information and they could tell if it was in the first article or the second article, or both. Their responses helped me ascertain which strategies were effective for students, which aids in planning future lessons.