Lesson Idea, Small Groups: Have your students draw two similar items to compare, for example: a baseball and a beach ball. Then swap papers. You do not get to compare the items you chose. You can swap by passing papers left to right, front to back, or however you choose. Once you receive your mission, write a list of appearance (behavior, whatever) that compares (both round) and that contrasts (different size.) You can work individually or in small groups. If you work in small groups, have your class elect the group that did the best job.

Lesson Idea, Venn Diagram: A great way to bring light to subtle differences or unexpected similarities between two subjects is to use a compare and contrast essay. Sometimes the assignment only wants the differences or contrasts highlighted, and sometimes you are expected to only show the similarities. So make sure you understand what the assignment is asking from the beginning. Making a Venn diagram, or a chart, can help you quickly and efficiently compare and contrast two or more things. To make a Venn diagram draw two overlapping circles one for each item you're considering and in the overlapping section write down how they are the same. The chart works basically the same way. Another great way to begin is by using questions reporters traditionally ask Who? What? Where? When? Why?

Compare and Contrast Games and Essays:

Compare and Contrast interactive

Compare and Contrast - long list, find what you need, by grade, interactive

Compare and Contrast game, Rags to Riches

Compare and Contrast game using very short stories

Compare and Contrast Hangman game, interactive

Compare and Contrast Quia

Compare and Contrast game using two stories of Jack and the Beanstalk

Pegasus vs. Unicorn Q&A interactive, compare and contrast

Comparing 3 Different Books Essay (free essays and reports)

Essay Comparing Hamlet to Catcher in the Rye (free essays and reports)

Language Arts
Free Presentations in PowerPoint format