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The Best Resources For Teaching/Learning About How To Write Compare/Contrast Essays

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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.

So, here goes:

Here are instructions for a compare/contrast unit project from one of my class blog.

Writing to Compare and Contrast from Citelighter on Vimeo.

When you are writing to compare, how should you organize your writing? What types of words should you use to make comparisons? Learn more about how to write engaging compare and contrast essays.

I use a lesson comparing/contrasting photos to introduce the concept to Beginning English Language Learners. Here are some posts specifically related to that activity:

“Blog challenge: compare and contrast photo”

Blog challenge: compare and contrast photo – this is from EduLang.

Finding Similar Images To Use For Compare/Contrast Prompts

Describing photos (comparing, contrasting and speculating) is from EFL Smart.

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.  In addition, they can view a variety of dance videos and write a compare/contrast essay.

Study the 9/11 terrorist attacks through a K-W-L chart and Venn Diagrams that lead to writing a compare and contrast essay.

A mixture of activities, including ones on idioms, recipes,  developing neighborhood tours and writing a compare/contrast essay.

Here’s a good hard-copy graphic organizer that can be used as a next step after students complete a Venn Diagram.

These illustrations show that there are two kinds of people in the world is a very interesting and useful resource if you’re teaching ELLs how to write compare and contrast essays.

Author: Larry Ferlazzo

I'm a high school teacher in Sacramento, CA.

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