Friday, January 21, 2011

Reading Strategy–Compare and Contrast

We are constantly working on strategies that will help us read and understand stories.  It is important to have knowledge and understanding of many strategies because you never know which one will be most helpful as you make sense of what you are reading.

This week we worked on comparing and contrasting.

These are the visual vocabulary cards we use to help us remember the meanings of the words COMPARE and CONTRAST.  When we compare two (or more) things, we tell how they are alike.  When we contrast two (or more) things, we tell how they are different.  Using a Venn Diagram is a great way to show where the items overlap (are alike) and where they do not overlap (are different).

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One of the stories we worked on to practice comparing and contrasting was The Very Hungry Caterpillar by Eric Carle


First, we read the story.  This is a story we’ve read many times this year, so students were able to read along very well.  After reading the book and retelling the story with our flannel board pieces, we worked with the story in a different way.  I presented two versions of the story in video-format on YouTube.  Look below to see both versions.

The first video is a claymation, or eye stop motion video by YouTube user JakeDawson1983.  I am unable to embed the video in this post, so click on the picture to go to YouTube for this video.

Very Hungry Caterpillar Claymation Video JakeDawson1983

The second video is by YouTube user lmfc20 and you can watch it below.

After watching these videos, we compared and contrasted one of them with the original book.  We noted how the video and book were alike and how they were different.  Look at our box-and-T chart below to see our observations.  Can you tell which video we used to do the comparison?

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You don’t have to read a book and watch a video to compare and contrast—you could do the same with two books, with a book and an oral story, with pictures, the possibilities are endless.  We have even compared and contrasted activities in our class, different students, different classrooms, and the teachers!

How does comparing and contrasting help you at home?

Happy reading,


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