Learning the steps to teaching compare and contrast at all grade levels will afford teachers the skills necessary to implement the critical thinking strategy of compare and contrast. This strategy builds a student’s memory, helps eliminate confusion, and brings crucial similarities and differences into focus.
Compare and contrast is most often used to analyze the differences and or the similarities of two distinct subjects. A good compare and contrast essay doesn’t only point out how the subjects are similar or different. It uses those points to make a meaningful argument about the subjects.
The definition of compare and contrast pertains to a written exercise about the similarities and differences between two or more people, places, or things. Of course, compare means to see the similarity and contrast means to see the difference. So does that apply in kindergarten or the Third Grade? “The Three Little Pigs” is a good example. Cats versus dogs could be another. Or comparing and contrasting summer and winter. There are myriad ways to getting kids to think about the concept.
Common Core Standards
Under the Common Core Standards, teachers today are required to develop lesson plans that bring this concept to all grade levels. At grade three, for example, students cab be asked to compare and contrast the themes, settings, and plots of stories written by the same author about the same or similar characters in a book or series.
The Common Core State Standards for English Language Arts are designed to ensure students fully understand what they read, and can effectively talk and write about it. These are the fundamental reading comprehension skills needed to succeed throughout elementary, middle and high school, college and beyond.
While the old standards focused on simply expecting students to recite facts learned through reading textbook passages, the new standards expect students to read books and textbook passages that are more challenging than what was previously read in each grade level – including reading more original writings whenever possible, demonstrating greater critical thinking and analytic skills.
Compare and contrast is just one element included in the Common Core State Standards and is just one part of a six-part program titled, “core strategies.”
Learn more about Common Core
A professional development series for teachers offered by Dominican University is designed to help teachers learn strategies that will significantly improve their ability to teach the Common Core State Standards.
The content learned in the class, Compare and Contrast, will afford teachers the skills necessary to implement the critical thinking. This strategy builds a student’s memory, helps eliminate confusion, and brings crucial similarities and differences into focus. By meeting the requirements of the class, participating teachers will earn one semester unit of graduate level extension credit from Dominican University of California, a fully accredited university.
All six courses in the Core Strategies series require one book entitled The Core Six: Essential Strategies for Achieving Excellence with the Common Core by Harvey Silver, Thomas Dewing, & Matthew Perini.