Compare or contrast your best friend

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Compare or contrast your best friend

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Mariam Jean DreherJennifer Letcher Gray This article explains how to teach students to identify the compare-contrast text structure, and to use this structure to support their comprehension. It is a brisk October day in Chicago during my first year of teaching.

I Jennifer, second author am seated at a small table in the back of the classroom, surrounded by the members of my on-level guided reading group. The six second-grade students in the group are getting ready to read a short nonfiction trade book about spiders that is a required text in our regular reading series.

The book uses a straightforward compare-contrast text structure to present information about spiders, comparing and contrasting them first with insects and then with other arachnids, like scorpions.

My goal in the lesson is to help children to both gain new knowledge about spiders and to understand the compare-contrast text structure that the book uses. The children all names are pseudonyms speak to one another quietly in Spanish as they take out their reading logs and pencils.

They begin to study the cover of the book, which features a large color photo of a spider in its web. Why do you think they are gross? Benjamin chimes in and says, "Halloween! We also see spiders in decorations for Halloween.

Several students share ideas about spiders being scary and creepy. I probe for more information about where spiders live, what they eat, and whether there are different kinds of spiders. I realize quickly that my students do not have the kinds of background knowledge about spiders that I expected them to have.

We create a K-W-L chart on a piece of chart paper, making a short list of the things that we already know about spiders and a longer list of the things that we want to know.

I then direct students to open the book and to read the first two pages. On these first two pages, the authors of the book compare and contrast the physical characteristics of spiders and insects.

The first page describes these physical similarities and differences, and the second page presents labeled diagrams of a spider and an ant. When students have finished reading these pages, I ask them to talk about what they have read.

The students are silent. Finally, Julio ventures, "Spiders are insects? Then, I ask, "So, how are spiders and insects different? Finally, Daniela tentatively says, "The spider is big and the ant is little? The lunch bell rings, and the students line up and file out of the classroom, looking confused.

What went wrong in this lesson? Why were the students unable to compare and contrast spiders and insects? Why did they struggle with this text?

Compare or contrast your best friend

We believe that there were three main reasons. Second, the students did not have a great deal of background knowledge about either of the two things spiders and insects that were being compared and contrasted. In this article, we will explore ways to address these three issues when using the compare-contrast text structure with ELL students in the primary grades.

Specifically, we will explain the following: How to teach students to identify the compare- contrast text structure, and to use this structure to support their comprehension. How to use compare-contrast texts to help students expand and enrich their vocabulary. We begin with a brief discussion of the unique needs of ELL students, describing how they can benefit from understanding text structures, and explaining why we have selected the compare-contrast text structure for use with ELL students.

We then describe ways in which teachers can teach ELL students to identify and use the compare-contrast text structure to aid their comprehension. Why is learning about text structure important for young ELL students? Although these programs focus on numerous important skills and strategies to help facilitate English reading comprehension for ELL students, they do not emphasize an essential element of comprehending English text:Hire a highly qualified essay writer to cater for all your content needs.

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Just find a great help for students in need. Lowest prices, first-rate place and eagerness to work on any type, topic, page count or level of assignment you want. How to Write a Compare and Contrast Essay. In this Article: Article Summary Formulating Your Argument Organizing Your Essay Putting It All Together Sample Body Paragraphs Sample Essay Outline Community Q&A The purpose of a compare and contrast essay is to analyze the differences and/or the similarities of two distinct subjects.

Compare and Contrast Characters in Beowulf and The Niebelungenlied - The hero of Beowulf, one of the oldest written Germanic epics, is a leader of the Geats and a hero unlike all others before him.

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