Thursday, February 9, 2012


President's Day is near. More than a good reason for a day off school in this long stretch of the school year, it's a good reason to teach compare and contrast. My class is working on a compare/contrast essay about George Washington and Abraham Lincoln. The idea is not revolutionary, but it works so well to integrate social studies, reading, and writing.

First, I read books to the class about Washington and Lincoln. As I was reading, I stopped every few pages for the class to tell me what to record on our fact posters. They look different, you say? My sub wrote the Lincoln facts with the kids.

Once the facts have been collected, the students decide which they feel are the most important facts to include in their essay. The structure of this essay is basic - introduction paragraph, compare paragraph, contrast paragraph, and conclusion paragraph.

The students organize the facts they have selected on this graphic organizer in a bullet format. Then the top box contains all the information for the compare paragraph and the bottom boxes are for the contrast paragraph. From here they will write their rough draft. Click on the picture to download the graphic organizer for your classroom.

I'm hoping these turn out well and we are done before President's Day!


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