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Compare and Contrast in First Grade

January 27, 2015 4 Comments

How do you introduce the concept of compare and contrast to your little learners?  This was the question that kept creeping up as I was planning for this week’s reading instruction.  I have been trying to work with my students this year on speaking and listening to each other by using partner talk much more.  I wanted less pencil and paper work and more discussion.  So far, my students have been doing a nice job with this switch and I’m so proud!  That’s why when it came time to think about lesson planning for reading this week, I didn’t want to introduce compare and contrast without activities that would enhance my students’ discussions.  Enter this new packet of activities!

In first grade, students are responsible for comparing and contrasting character’s activities and experiences within a story.  Wonderful, sounds great and easily attainable within one week…NOT.  I thought how can my littles compare and contrast character’s experiences when they haven’t done that work with their own lives yet?  That’s what I hoped to accomplish this week, set the foundation for comparing and contrasting things that students can relate to and THEN move onto characters in stories.  So far so good!
We started today by introducing the terms compare and contrast with these posters and focusing on their key words.  

Then, we discussed as a whole group how we could compare and contrast cats and dogs using these key words.  The ideas were fantastic, they both have four paws, they both play with toys, they both have fur, they eat different food.  I was really excited to continue! We kept the momentum going and started a compare and contrast pocket chart activity. Students chose a card and sorted if the statement compared cats and dogs or contrasted them.
Discussing the statements with their classmates really helped them to sort and finding the key words did also.  After finishing up this pocket chart activity as a group, the kids were ready to start the next activity: pair and share.  I paired my students up with their reading buddies (like-ability reading partners) and passed out cards with two similar things on them.   The students were only asked to discuss ways to compare and contrast these two things first.  Here are some examples:


It was so nice to see my kids sitting with their partners and discussing these two things in a respectful and appropriate way.  I felt so proud that all of our practice was paying off!  After a few minutes of discussion, we reviewed a Venn Diagram and how we could use it to organize our thoughts.  The pairs were then given one and asked to complete it for their things on their cards.  The kids went to town with very little further instruction…#teachersuccess!
 (Yes, those are adorable pink Hunter boots from our resident “Princess Peach” for the day.  She had a tiara on and everything!)

We will continue to work with compare and contrast all week, finally getting to some character comparisons towards the end of the week with our Journeys’ anthology and guided reading books.  But first, some more real life application through these activities…



I can’t wait to see how the “Friend Venn” activities turn out!  
If you’re interested in these activities please visit my tpt store and check it out! Okay, ready to curl up and watch the Bachelor in snowy “Snowboken, NJ”  with this bat dog!  Stay safe and warm everyone!


  • Unknown October 26, 2016 at 1:35 am

    This is AMAZING!!! MY firsties need this where can I find the Friend venn?

  • Unknown October 26, 2016 at 1:35 am

    This is AMAZING!!! MY firsties need this where can I find the Friend venn?

  • Mrs. G. Melendez November 9, 2016 at 1:17 am

    Awesome!!! Thanks for sharing this

  • Teacher Anna February 17, 2018 at 10:31 pm

    Thank you so much for sharing! Wonderful ideas! Can't wait to try it out šŸ™‚

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    Hi! Iā€™m Jayme! A former elementary teacher turned stay at home mom sharing toddler activities, mom tips, and educational resources to help you learn and play with your children. I believe in the power of PLAY and creating meaningful activities for you and your little ones to enjoy together.

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