Today I plan on engaging my students in a discussion of identifying the similarities and differences between a boy and a girl. We will then write a compare and contrast paper about them. Today we will compare and contrast a funny topic. We will have fun but being able to identify similarities and differences is an important skill. It is important not only for writing papers in the upper grades but for being able to make informed life decisions. I begin my lesson with my students seated on the carpet.
"We have been comparing and contrasting fictional books and nonfictional books, characters in a story and today I thought it would be fun to compare two friends. Let's review what that means. Can you show me and tell me what it means to compare two things?"
The students grasp their hands together and say: To compare is to find what is similar.
"Great, similar is the _____ (same) right. Now show me and tell me what contrast means.
The students open their arms and their hands arm palm side up and say: To contrast is to find out what is different.
" You are right, different is not the ____ (same). I would like to compare and contrast a boy and a girl. I will use my name sticks to call on a boy and a girl that we can compare and contrast. Oh, I picked Noor for the boy and Roselyne for the girl. I would like you to both come and stand up front so we can look at you. You are both good sports."
"When we do a compare and contrast activity, how do I start? What should I do first, what should I start with? Yes you are right. I use the bubble maps, one for each person and then we put bubbles in the middle for things that are the same."
I begin to draw a bubble maps.
" Let's first do a bubble map about Noor. I will call name sticks and choose people to tell me a characteristic of Noor. "
I call on students and write their answers on the bubble map. I make sure everyone has an opportunity to answer. When we are finished we chorally read all the bubble about Noor.
"Did you think you knew that much about Noor? That was great. Now let's do a bubble map about Roselyne. Again I will use my name sticks to call on friends to tell me characteristics about Roselyne."
Again I call on students and write their answers on the bubble map for Roselyne. I give everyone the opportunity to give an answer. I feel it is important that each child has the opportunity to participate in this part of the lesson, My ELL students need many opportunities through out the day to speak the English language out loud. Knowing they will have a turn, keeps them focused at least until they have turn. We chorally read all the bubbles for Roselyne.
"We have listed all the characteristics of Noor and all the characteristics of Roselyne. We named all the things they have that are about them, which are things that are different. What did we say find ing things that are different is called? Contrasting. Now we need to find out what they have that are the same. So I am going to put these bubbles in the middle. What do we call it when we are finding the things that are similar? It is ___. Comparing. So let me call on my friends again. This time I need to to tell me characteristics of both children that are to same."
I call on students to give me comparing characteristics. I write them on the board.
"When I write a characteristic on the board with a bubble, I am showing how the two people are similar. If I put a bubble in the middle,I need to erase a bubble,____, (rom the other bubble. So, I have to erase the characteristics that are on each child's bubble. Let's do that part now."
"We finish up the double bubble map. Lets's chorally read the bubbles in the middle."
"Now we are ready to write."
"This is the easy part of today's lesson. We will make a sentence about Noor. What can we say about Noor? We have to use the characteristics from the bubbles over here by Noor's bubble."
After some discussion they came up with the sentence; Noor is a boy. So I write that on the chart paper.
"Now that we have Noor's sentence, what can we say about Roselyne? Remember we have to use characteristics from this side of Roselyne."
We review Roseyne's characteristics and through much discussion they came up with the sentence; Roselyne is a girl. (pretty funny!)
"We have written our two contrasting sentences. What kind of sentence do you think we will write last? It will be a comparison sentence and we will choose from the bubble _______ (in the middle). These are the characteristics that are the same for both our friends. What can we say about both are friends?"
Again we have a discussion and they decide on a sentence: They both are in our class.
"Great Job. That was a lot of work. Are you tired? I thought it was fun! Now I will model our sentences on the writing paper so you know exactly what you need to do."
I go to the document camera and model the writing.
"I made a writing paper so you will trace part of the sentence and fill in the blank for the rest. Pay attention to what we are writing because I am going to erase everything and you will write the sentences by yourself. For the first sentence, all you have to do is trace Noor's name and write the words, is, a, boy. We are just writing the sentences you made up. Next we will trace Roselyne's name and on the line we will write; is, a, girl. The last sentence we will trace the words; They both and then all by yourselves you will write: are, in, our, class. Thumbs up if you understand what you need to do."
I call on a few lower students to make sure they understand the assignment. I dismiss my students by row color to go to their tables. I hand the writing papers to my class paper passers and let them pass out the papers to all seats. I turn off the document camera and turn over the chart with the sentences. Using a highlighter, I write the words for my lower students and prompt the other students in phonetic spelling. I collect the finished papers and my students sit quietly on the carpet reading library books. When everyone is finished, we clean up the books and gather on the carpet for our oral presentations.
I call my students up to the front of the room by row color to read their sentences. My students seem more comfortable and willing to read orally when they are surrounded by their peers. Each student gets the opportunity to present their work. They pictures are very unique. We applaud and cheer after each reading. My students are excited to take their papers home to show them to their familiys.