In our Comparing Literature Lesson Plan, students will develop and strengthen analytical and critical thinking skills by analyzing two texts to compare and contrast them using Venn Diagrams. Oral presentation of information related to comparing literature allows students to share their observations, as well as deepen their understanding and communication skills.
Sample Classroom Procedure / Teacher Instruction
- Call students to the carpet/front of the room to sit together. On the board, draw a Venn diagram labeling the circles with two texts that you have recently read in your class. It doesn’t matter if they are extremely different, or in different subject areas as long as the students experienced both. Ask students to turn and talk to a partner to discuss what the texts had in common and what was dissimilar.
- After two minutes for students to discuss, explain that items they share that are common to both texts will go in the overlapping center, meaning both texts share this aspect. Items that unique to one text (thus meaning the texts differ on this item) will go in the portions of the circles that do not overlap. Take at least six differences (three for each text), and three common items between the texts. Fill in the Venn diagram as students respond.
- Say, “What you have just done is to compare and contrast texts. We used a visual method to organize the information that you found in common between the two texts and to note what was different between them as well. All of you worked together so well to compare and contrast texts we’ve read in class. It’s also important to be able to compare and contrast texts working on your own. Many of the literature classes you have in upper grades, high school, and college will ask you to examine two or three pieces of text and make comparisons. Before we practice comparing texts, let’s make an anchor chart of guiding questions skillful readers use when comparing texts.”
- Take student suggestions on what questions they think a good reader asks when they compare two texts. Be prepared to share the following questions.
- In pairs, have students complete Activity Page One, where they formulate answers to these questions using two short example texts.
- Meet to share responses as a whole class. Discuss which questions were easiest and most difficult to answer and have students as a class offer suggestions and strategies that they used to answer the questions others struggled with.
Common Core State Standards: CCSS.ELA-LITERACY.RL.4.9
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