These 2 placemats can work with most informational/nonfiction texts that are on the same topic. The purpose of these placemats is to closely analyze two similar texts, make comparisons, and draw conclusions.
Students are asked to determine the author's purpose, main idea/central idea, tone, fact and opinion, draw conclusions, write a summary, compare the two articles, and analyze portrayals.
I think these are especially useful of 2 non-fiction texts that are delivered slightly differently. For example, if your students were studying concussions in football, it might be interesting to read one article that is critical of the dangers of football and one that is neutral. This helps students to see that non-fiction information can be manipulated, and we must read everything critically.
In my classroom, this led to a great debate on how historical accounts can be subjective and that author's can display bias.
I hope you enjoy!!