One very valuable skill — for both young and old — is being able to compare and contrast two things.
This type of analyzing serves us well not only as we learn, but in life as we make daily decisions, consider the value of two different options, ponder the actions of the wise man and the fool from Proverbs, or explain our thinking on a variety of issues in daily conversations.
First, the basic concepts:
- Comparing two things means to note their similarities. How are they alike? What do they have in common?
- Contrasting two things means to note their differences. How can I tell them apart? In what ways are they different?
- Play “one of these things is not like the other” and have your child find the one that is different.
- Have your child compare/contrast two characters from one of his favorite books.
- Create a chart comparing and contrasting the wise man and the fool in Proverbs, as mentioned above.
- Make a list of the pros and cons of an upcoming decision.
- Other things your child can compare/contrast (roughly in order of those that would suit the youngest to the oldest):
- The clothing from different eras.
- Two works of art.
- Two musical compositions from different eras.
- Two favorite stuffed animals.
- Two different fruits.
- His dog and the neighbor’s dog.
- Two different types of rocks.
- The endings from two different books.
- Two words with similar meanings.
- The two sides of an issue currently in the news.
Comparison and Contrast Guide
Background information at ReadWriteThink.
Comparison and Contrast
Principles for older students.
Compare/Contrast Key Words
When you are ready to write you’ll want to use transition words that express comparing or contrasting concepts.
Spot the Difference
Free game from Sheppard Software.
Whack a Difference
Quickly click the one that is different. Also from Sheppard Software.
Compare and Contrast Map
Interactive at ReadWriteThink that walks you through the process. One of our favorite resources!
Interactive Venn Diagrams
A graphic organizer at ReadWriteThink that helps you compare and contrast two or three things.
Printables & Notebooking Pages
Compare and Contrast Chart
Simple chart at ReadWriteThink that aids the process.