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Without the ability to make comparisons—to set one object or idea against another and take note of similarities and differences—much of what we call learning would quite literally be impossible.You may be wondering why we want to look so closely at comparative thinking. The answer lies in the research of renowned educators Robert Marzano, Debra Pickering, and Jane Pollock (2001).What skills were evident in these student work samples?
Comparative thinking is one of our first and most natural forms of thought.
When we are infants, one of the first differences we must identify is that between mother and other.
I recently realized that I have specific “Best” lists for many different types of essays (see All My “Best” Lists On Teaching & Learning How To Write – In One Place!
), but I’ve never created one for Compare/Contrast.
Here are some NY Times posts for ELLs where I’ve discussed writing compare/contrast essays: Students separate run-on sentences in this interactive about International Dance Day, and use it as a model for creating their own.
Thesis Data Analysis Section - Teaching Comparative Essays
In addition, they can view a variety of dance videos and write a compare/contrast essay.
Enhance Students' Writing in the Content Areas The Compare & Contrast strategy strengthens students' writing skills by providing a simple structure that helps them organize information and develop their ideas with greater clarity and precision.
Develop Students' Habits of Mind In their years of research into the defining characteristics of intelligent behavior and thought, Art Costa and Bena Kallick (2008, 2009) have identified 16 “habits of mind.” By nourishing these habits in our students, we give them the tools they need to use their minds well, thus increasing their chance for future success.
Figure 1.1 includes a variety of student work samples that span a wide range of content areas and grade levels.
As you examine this work, ask yourself, What skills are students demonstrating in this work?