April 11, 2017

Let's compare!

As part of our ever-growing Morning Message activities, I have been slowly introducing the concept of comparative writing to the boys and girls. 

We began back in late February/early March with a look at a photo like the one in the slide below. Students were asked to use words like right and left to describe similarities and differences. 

After that, I asked students to write their comparative sentences on a Post-it Note, proofread it into their whisper-phone, and then share it with the class.  

Soon, I introduced the idea of using the word however to connect the sentences and make the mini-paragraph more fluid.  
Students began writing things like: The boy on the left is holding a pot of gold. However, the boy on the right is holding just one coin. 

We worked on the correct use of the word however for a few mornings. Then I asked students to be more creative in their sentences. I showed them the slide below and asked them to compare two features of the picture that no one else would consider.  

Then we worked with this slide for another opportunity to use the word however AND write unique and creative comparative sentences. I also began introducing the phrase on the other hand as a means of writing about something the characters in the picture have in common. 

We also practiced using this slide.  
The next task was to write a mini-comparative paragraph about the slide below.  Students were expected to include the following: 
  • include their purpose for writing 
  • write two creative differences they see in the slide below using the word however
  • write about something the characters below have in common using the phrase on the other hand
  • use commas appropriately as all of the comparative words and phrases require them
  • write a closing sentence 
  • all this needs to be completed, proofread and polished in just ten minutes or so! 

Soon, we'll start using comparative writing in Math. Students will be looking at two gardens with different areas and perimeters. They're asked to use the "comparative writing formula" (7 steps) as their guide.  

Here's the text I wrote for students to write about. They're job is to compare Andrew and Dana. I'm really excited to read these paragraphs. What will my students choose as the similarities and differences they want to write about?! 

On Wednesday, I'll explain to my students that they can use comparative words in a variety of ways and that they need not reserve however only for describing differences and on the other hand for similarities.


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