Teaching Comparative Essays

Teaching Comparative Essays-58
Figure 1.1 includes a variety of student work samples that span a wide range of content areas and grade levels.

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So, here goes: Here are instructions for a compare/contrast unit project from one of my class blog.

Writing to Compare and Contrast from Citelighter on Vimeo.

Study the 9/11 terrorist attacks through a K-W-L chart and Venn Diagrams that lead to writing a compare and contrast essay.

A mixture of activities, including ones on idioms, recipes, developing neighborhood tours and writing a compare/contrast essay.

We all want our students to produce this kind of work—to be able to use comparative thinking independently to advance their own learning.

To help us achieve this goal, let's turn our attention to the four principles and the four phases of Compare & Contrast.

Without the ability to make comparisons—to set one object or idea against another and take note of similarities and differences—much of what we call learning would quite literally be impossible.

You may be wondering why we want to look so closely at comparative thinking. The answer lies in the research of renowned educators Robert Marzano, Debra Pickering, and Jane Pollock (2001).

Using Compare & Contrast in the classroom will help students develop these habits of mind: thinking flexibly; thinking about thinking (metacognition); striving for accuracy; applying past knowledge to new situations; and thinking and communicating with clarity and precision.

The next few pages show the kinds of work students create while engaged in Compare & Contrast lessons.


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