Compare And Contrast Essays For Elementary Students

Materials and Technology

Student Interactives





  • LCD Projector hooked to a computer with a word processor, or an overhead projector

  • Word processor software

  • General classroom supplies (pencils, paper, etc.)

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Grades   3 – 12  |  Student Interactive  |  Organizing & Summarizing

Comparison and Contrast Guide

The Comparison and Contrast Guide outlines the characteristics of the genre and provides direct instruction on the methods of organizing, gathering ideas, and writing comparison and contrast essays.


Grades   3 – 12  |  Student Interactive  |  Organizing & Summarizing

Compare & Contrast Map

The Compare & Contrast Map is an interactive graphic organizer that enables students to organize and outline their ideas for different kinds of comparison essays.


Grades   K – 12  |  Student Interactive  |  Organizing & Summarizing

Venn Diagram

This interactive tool allows students to create Venn diagrams that contain two or three overlapping circles, enabling them to organize their information logically.


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  • Set the projector up so that the teacher is facing the class and able to type the text (or write easily on the overhead) and the class is able to follow along.

  • Familiarize yourself with the basic commands of the word processor on the computer that you're using.

  • Test the Venn Diagram student interactive, Comparison and Contrast Guide, and Compare and Contrast Map on your computers to familiarize yourself with the tools and ensure that you have the Flash plug-in installed. You can download the plug-in from the technical support page.

  • Prior to this lesson, students should have learned how to write introductions and conclusions. The ReadWriteThink lesson Leading to Great Places in the Elementary Classroom can be a useful resource for exploring introductory sentences.

  • (optional) For background information on the compare and contrast essay format, see Literacy Education Online's Comparison/Contrast Essays.

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Product Description

This lesson teaches upper elementary students how to write a 2-paragraph compare and contrast essay! Students will create a topic sentence on two topics they select. From there, they will complete a Venn Diagram and graphic organizer with their ideas. A list of comparison words and contrasting words will help guide them in their writing so it flows nicely.

This lesson is complete with the following items:
-A student sample to teach from
-A Venn Diagram for students to fill out
-A list of compare and contrast topics students may write
-A pre-writing brainstorm section
-Graphic Organizer for the rough draft
-A student checklist to use after the writing

Please note: This lesson is quite similar to one in the Spring Poetry bundle lesson I sell. Please do not purchase this lesson if you already have my Spring Poetry lesson.

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