Thursday, February 25, 2016

Critical Vocabulary: How I Teach Compare and Contrast

Hello, sweet teacher!

Have you taught compare and contrast this year to your students? I'm sure that you have at least one lesson in your reading and math series where you are teaching students to compare and contrast. In our series, it comes up as a lesson quite often, but I'm always looking for other ways to extend the learning beyond the manual. Plus, I want to make the learning of this vocabulary more meaningful to my students so that it sticks in their long-term memory.

Then and Now...

Teaching the past is a great way to teach compare and contrast. I usually teach about comparing and contrasting the past to the present during Thanksgiving and when reading a short biography on Ben Franklin. We also put together an interactive notebook page comparing and contrasting "then and now" living. Here is an example of how in the past people needed to work to make their own foods and now people have the convenience of buying their foods at a grocery store. Later on, the students really enjoy looking through their notebooks and reading under the cut and glued flaps.

Multiple Meaning Words...

Teaching multiple meaning words (homonyms) is a great way to teach contrast. It's a fun way to look at words in a different way! Here you can see we had an emergent reader that specifically contrasted the word "pop" with visual aids. We talked about not only the verb describing popping a balloon and the noun to describe a soda pop, but we even talked about how some people might call a dad "pop" and that it is also a sound word (onomatopoeia).

Click any of the pics above to see these resources or here to see these and many more related to compare and contrast!

Other great ways to teach compare and contrast:

Prefixes/suffixes--happy and unhappy; careful and careless.

Onomatopoeia (words that represent sound)--snap is a multiple meaning word; a sound and a noun, as in a snap on a jacket.

Adjectives (comparative/superlative)--big, bigger, biggest; small, smaller, smallest.

Greater/less than--43 is greater than 34 because we need to look at the tens and not the ones.

How do you teach compare and contrast? Leave a comment below!

If you'd like more ideas, I've curated a Pinterest board with more ideas. Click the pic below to follow the board!

Click here for more Vocabulary Pin Boards posts.

~Melissa Williams

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