Skip to content

Compare And Contrast Essay Format Elementary

Overview

Featured Resources

From Theory to Practice

 

OVERVIEW

Together, students and teacher use charts and Venn diagrams to brainstorm and organize similarities and differences between two objects. The teacher then models the beginning of the first draft, inviting students to help rephrase, clarify, and revise as the draft is written. Finally, students take what they have learned to complete the draft independently.

back to top

 

FEATURED RESOURCES

Comparison and Contrast Guide: This student-centered online guide provides a thorough introduction to the compare and contrast essay format, including definitions, transitions, graphic organizers, checklists, and examples.

Venn Diagram: Use this online tool during prewriting to organize ideas for a compare and contrast essay.

back to top

 

FROM THEORY TO PRACTICE

Rick VanDeWeghe writes of modeling: "teachers show how they go about the processes of reading and writing-drawing students' attention to the ways readers and writers think and the real decisions they make, especially when they themselves are challenged." In her book Conversations, Regie Routman explains why this modeling process is so successful: "It has always been our job to teach directly and explicitly in response to students' needs-carefully demonstrating, specifically showing how, clearly explaining. Whatever we want our students to do well, we first have to show them how. Of all the changes I have made in my teaching, adding explicit demonstration to everything I teach has been the single most important factor in increasing students' literacy" (24).

Further, writing out loud with students gives me an opportunity to show my enjoyment for the writing process. Students see that revision and editing are part of the fun, and that even teachers don't get it correct the first time. As an added bonus, students are frequently more eager to share personal writings with me for feedback once they see this process modeled.

Further Reading

VanDeWeghe, Rick. "Deep Modeling and Authentic Teaching: Challenging Students or Challenging Students?" English Journal 95.4 (March 2006): 84-88

 

Routman, Regie. 2000. Conversations: Strategies for Teaching, Learning, and Evaluating. Portsmouth, NH: Heinemann.

back to top

Materials and Technology

Student Interactives

Printouts

Preparation

 

MATERIALS AND TECHNOLOGY

  • LCD Projector hooked to a computer with a word processor, or an overhead projector

  • Word processor software

  • General classroom supplies (pencils, paper, etc.)

back to top

 

STUDENT INTERACTIVES

Grades   3 – 12  |  Student Interactive  |  Organizing & Summarizing

Comparison and Contrast Guide

The Comparison and Contrast Guide outlines the characteristics of the genre and provides direct instruction on the methods of organizing, gathering ideas, and writing comparison and contrast essays.

 

Grades   3 – 12  |  Student Interactive  |  Organizing & Summarizing

Compare & Contrast Map

The Compare & Contrast Map is an interactive graphic organizer that enables students to organize and outline their ideas for different kinds of comparison essays.

 

Grades   K – 12  |  Student Interactive  |  Organizing & Summarizing

Venn Diagram

This interactive tool allows students to create Venn diagrams that contain two or three overlapping circles, enabling them to organize their information logically.

 

back to top

 

PRINTOUTS

back to top

 

PREPARATION

  • Set the projector up so that the teacher is facing the class and able to type the text (or write easily on the overhead) and the class is able to follow along.

  • Familiarize yourself with the basic commands of the word processor on the computer that you're using.

  • Test the Venn Diagram student interactive, Comparison and Contrast Guide, and Compare and Contrast Map on your computers to familiarize yourself with the tools and ensure that you have the Flash plug-in installed. You can download the plug-in from the technical support page.

  • Prior to this lesson, students should have learned how to write introductions and conclusions. The ReadWriteThink lesson Leading to Great Places in the Elementary Classroom can be a useful resource for exploring introductory sentences.

  • (optional) For background information on the compare and contrast essay format, see Literacy Education Online's Comparison/Contrast Essays.

back to top