Comparing & Contrasting
Comparing and contrasting ideas and information is extremely important to school success, especially during high school. For example, in high school a teacher may expect students to write a compare and contrast paper discussing similarities and differences between Romeo and Juliet and the movie West Side Story. You can help your child learn this skill at an early age. There are many wonderful books that can be used with elementary-aged children that are versions of classic tales. Your local librarian is one helpful source for literature suggestions.
It is helpful to children to compare and contrast individual characters in books, both historical and fictional. For example, compare Harriet Tubman to a brave character in another book you just finished reading with your child by talking about personality traits the two characters have in common. This helps give your child insights into real events and historical figures. Understanding history will help your child understand character’s motivations in books that were written many years ago. If your child has no frame of reference for the time period, it will be more difficult for him or her to understand why the characters made the choices they did.
When your child gets proficient at telling you how things are the same and different, have them write about it with several details and grammatically correct sentences.