You’d think comparing and contrasting two texts would be a no-brainer. But, if you’re like most teachers, you might find that it doesn’t come naturally to you. In order to do it well, you need effective guidance as well as lots of practice. Luckily, once you learn the seven steps that will help your students compare and contrast when reading, it becomes easier every time. In this blog post, we’ll take you through the seven key steps in teaching students how to compare and contrast two texts. These are the essential techniques for tackling this common writing task. However, before doing so we want to make sure that they are right for you and your class. Read on to find out more information about who these strategies are best suited for as well as some helpful tips in case you need them!
What are the seven steps to teaching students to compare and contrast?
These are the essential techniques for tackling this common writing task. However, before doing so we want to make sure that they are right for you and your class. They are: - Identify the differences between two texts - Make sure your students know what authors are different, what specific details are different, and what is missing in the other text. - Use those differences to build analysis - Help your students to understand the connection between the differences and the writing task. - Analyze the texts - Have your students compare and contrast the writing style, tone, and structure. - Connect the analysis to the context - Connect the information in the analysis back to the contexts in which it was written. - Support your analysis with evidence - Put your analysis into context with material outside of the texts. - Wrap it up - Finish your analysis with a conclusion and make sure you have a final question for your students.
Don’t confuse these techniques
When you teach students to compare and contrast two texts, you can’t confuse them with summarizing. Summarizing is where you condense the contents of a longer text into a short synopsis. Comparing and contrasting is much more than that and involves identifying the specific details and creating a written analysis of the texts. Both summarizing and comparing and contrasting are essential skills for writers. However, summarizing is great for communicating key points or big ideas, whereas comparing and contrasting helps you to understand, analyze, and analyze all the details of two texts. So, if you are confused about which one to use, make sure you are comparing and contrasting.
Be specific when teaching students how to compare and contrast
Before you start teaching your students how to compare and contrast two texts, you need to make sure you know exactly what you are doing. Coming up with a comparison and contrast essay course may sound easy, but it’s a skill that requires a great deal of practice. It’s important that you don’t just try to explain how to do it, but actually teach your students how to do it. When you are teaching students how to compare and contrast two texts, you have to be clear about what you are actually doing. So, use examples and analogies to help your students to understand what you mean. Be as specific as you can when explaining what you are teaching, and what you are asking them to do.
Make sure your students know how to use each step before moving on
If you teach your students how to compare and contrast two texts without first building their knowledge and finding a purpose in doing so, they are unlikely to use this new skill appropriately. But, how will they do that if they don’t know where to start? Before you start teaching your students how to compare and contrast two texts, you need to make sure that you know exactly why you’re doing it. You can do this by finding out what you hope to achieve with this new course, and why those specific outcomes are important to you.
Practice, practice, practice!
The best way for your students to compare and contrast two texts is by practicing the seven steps themselves. So, the best thing you can do is set aside time each day to practice the steps on your own. You can do this by writing original analysis essays, making notes while reading and summarizing texts, and by writing essays for school assignments. While practice doesn’t always make perfect, it will definitely help your students to become better at using these critical writing techniques. When you practice the steps on your own, you can use a notebook, an online forum, or a separate piece of paper to mark down the steps that you’re going through. This will make sure that you don’t miss any of the key elements of these techniques.
Students need to practice using these seven steps to compare and contrast two texts. It’s important that they build up the skill of identifying the specific details in different texts and building an analysis of these details. Doing so will help your students to become better critical readers as well as writers. If you struggle with finding the time to practice these seven steps on your own, consider setting aside time in your timetable for practicing these critical writing techniques. You can also find other ways to incorporate them into your lessons, such as in group work or by having students write short essays for class.