Sample Compare And Contrast Essay For Middle School

Grades   3 – 5  |  Lesson Plan  |  Standard Lesson

Teaching the Compare and Contrast Essay through Modeling

The compare and contrast essay is taught through modeling from the brainstorming phase through the first draft.

 

Grades   3 – 5  |  Lesson Plan  |  Unit

Examining Plot Conflict through a Comparison/Contrast Essay

Students explore picture books to identify the characteristics of four types of conflict. They then write about a conflict they have experienced and compare it to a conflict from literature.

 

Grades   3 – 5  |  Lesson Plan  |  Standard Lesson

Descriptive Video: Using Media Technology to Enhance Writing

Students will have a roaring good time when they watch a scene from The Lion King as a way to compare standard and described programming media.

 

Grades   3 – 6  |  Lesson Plan  |  Standard Lesson

American Folklore: A Jigsaw Character Study

Groups of students read and discuss American folklore stories, each group reading a different story. Using a jigsaw strategy, the groups compare character traits and main plot points of the stories. A diverse selection of American folk tales is used for this lesson, which is adaptable to any text set.

 

Grades   3 – 6  |  Lesson Plan  |  Standard Lesson

The Tale of Despereaux: Fact or Fiction?

Using the book The Tale of Despereaux, students look a closer look at medieval times to see if the novel accurately portrays this time in history. Looking at key sections of the book, students will use the Compare and Contrast Guide and Map to help them decipher between fact and fiction.

 

Grades   4 – 7  |  Lesson Plan  |  Standard Lesson

Boars and Baseball: Making Connections

In this lesson, students will make text-to-self, text-to-text, and text-to-world connections after reading In the Year of the Boar and Jackie Robinson. After sharing and discussing connections, students choose and plan a project that makes a personal connection to the text.

 

Grades   5 – 8  |  Lesson Plan  |  Standard Lesson

Huge Mistakes that Led to Catastrophe: Learning about Human-made Disasters throughout History

After researching various human-made disasters such as the BP oil spill, the sinking of the Titanic, and the Great Chicago Fire, students share their research in oral presentations. Then students pair up to compare and contrast their disasters using the Venn Diagram Student Interactive or the Venn diagram Mobile App.

 

Grades   3 – 12  |  Student Interactive  |  Organizing & Summarizing

Essay Map

The Essay Map is an interactive graphic organizer that enables students to organize and outline their ideas for an informational, definitional, or descriptive essay.

 

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   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.

 

Grades   3 – 12  |  Student Interactive  |  Organizing & Summarizing

Persuasion Map

The Persuasion Map is an interactive graphic organizer that enables students to map out their arguments for a persuasive essay or debate.

 

Grades   K – 12  |  Mobile App  |  Organizing & Summarizing

Venn Diagram

The Venn Diagram app allows users to compare and contrast information in a visually appealing way.

 

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.

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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.

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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.

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