Compare and Contrast

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SWBAT compare and contrast "The Three Questions" with "Fu Finds the Way".

Big Idea

Compare Across Texts.

Active Engagement

5 minutes

"Today students I will reread the modern day fable The Three Questions  by John Muth.

As you remember, this story is about a boy named Nicholai who lives in China.  He really wants to know the answer to three questions so that he can be a good person.  The questions are:  When is the right time, Who is the most important one, and What is the most important thing?"  

Say, "Listen for the answers to these questions as I read this book aloud to you. 

The characters in this story are: Nicolai, the boy.  His animal friends: Sonya (a heron), Gogal ( monkey), Pushkin (a dog), a wise old turtle named Leo, and a mother and baby panda.

The setting is in China and the problem is Nicolai is searching for answers to his questions that relate to how to be a good person."

Your task today is to fill out a Venn Diagram so that tomorrow you can compare and contrast the ways this story is alike and different from the story, Fu Finds the Way.

Read Aloud

15 minutes

Once again read the story aloud to the students.  Have them turn and talk to retell the sequence of events.  Have students start a retell, and call on different students to add on the next event.

Introduce the Venn Diagram graphic organizer.

Independent Work

10 minutes

Send students back to their seats for the independent work part of the lesson.  

"Students, for you independent work today, you will use a Venn Diagram to compare three ways Fu Finds the Way and The Three questions are alike. You will also identify three ways that the two stories are different.  This is called contrasting.

Remember you have used Venn Diagrams before to organize your thinking about how two things are alike and different when we studied poetry, so you will know how to use this graphic organizer."

Model how to correctly write the titles of the two stories at the top of the page, emphasizing to capitalize the important words in each title.  Us a highlighter to highlight the capitalized words.

"First, I want you to write in the two titles of the books at the top of each circle.  Capitalize important words in the titles.  Then think about how the two stories are alike and how they are different and fill in the spaces.  Remember the area where the two circles intersect is where you jot the ways the stories are alike or similar.

Now think about the two stories you have heard in the last couple of days and jot down how they are alike and how they are different on your Venn Diagram."

Let the students settle in to their work.  Walk around and check in with students as they think of ways the stories are similar and different.   I might do a mid workshop interruption if I see that students need support or to refocus them on the task.

It will go something like, "Students, may I have your attention for a moment.  I like what I am seeing you write.  I noticed many of you have.... ( say what I noticed).  Add in any clarifying comments as necessary.


10 minutes

Toward the end of the lesson, share student #3's Venn Diagram under the doc camera. Call on students to read each similarity.  Ask if students agree or disagree with the ideas.  Continue in same way for differences for each story.

Share student #2's Venn Diagram.  Process in same way as with student #3's work.  Emphasize that each of you might have different ideas about the stories and that is O.K. as long as their is evidence in the text that supports you interpretation and that you can explain your thinking and ideas.


20 minutes

This is an activity to  focus on the ways the main character's feelings change through out the course of the story.

They are listening for when Nicolai feels:






Have students suggest a synonym for each feeling and give an example for each.

Hand out graphic organizer.

Reread the story aloud to the students.  Tell the students they are listening to the story to identify Nicolai's feelings and what caused them.

Stop and pause at each section of the book where Nicolai's feeling become noticeable to the reader. Give students time to write in when and the cause for each feeling.