Teaching is an important part of education, and there are many different approaches that teachers use to teach students. This post will explain how to teach compare and contrast in order to help students learn better.
Students’ Motivation to Learn.
There are three main reasons why people learn. They’re motivated by interest, fear, and desire. If you want to motivate students to learn, you need to understand what motivates them.
Compare and Contrast are already apart of our every day lives. We compare and contrast real life scenarios every single day. Teaching students to be able to compare and contrast to understand text structure is so important. Helping students make the connection between what they do every day and apply it to their reading can be challenging. We all typically notice when a friend makes a drastic hair style change, however, when reading about characters, we fail to notice the changes they can make. Students learn to love when we teach compare and contrast through text structure!
In order to teach students this form of text structure, let’s introduce students to the terms compare and contrast. Next, we will ask them to find similarities and differences between two popular items. For example, we can have students compare and contrast baseball vs softball. Students can read about these highly engaging topics and in small groups discuss their similarities and differences while teaching compare and contrast text structure.
Setting the Stage for Your Reading Lesson
In order to introduce the difficult skill of compare and contrast, I use conversation starters. At the beginning of my lesson, I show these picture cards. The students and I will have dialogue on the items shown. During this time, I use signal words to cue to my students that we are comparing and contrasting. I gave these cards to Kindergarten and First Grade teachers to use. I’ve also used them with second and third grade students during intervention so they could work on the skill before applying it to text they are reading.
Another favorite way to teach compare and contrast is to use the Who Would Win Series. Students enjoy these engaging texts. They are full of examples for students to compare and contrast. Also, these books have a variety of text features to teach students as well.
Compare and Contrast Read Alouds for Teaching Text Structure
As with ANYTHING I teach, I use interactive read alouds to model for my students how good readers compare and contrast while reading. It’s important to teachers to point out the signal words during read alouds.
The Korean Cinderella is a perfect book to use to teach compare and contrast upper elementary! Students likely know the classic Cinderella story and are typically able to make a ton of connections!.
Teaching Compare and Contrast is a difficult journey for students. I hope these ideas and resource will help you and your students. Please let me know by sending me a message on FB if there’s anything else your students struggle with!
Have a great day, friends!