Compare and Contrast Arctic Animals! Venn Diagram and paragraph frame. :) Task cards, too!
This is a 21 page common core-aligned unit that focuses on the critical thinking skill, compare and contrast. It is a non-fiction unit.
The theme is comparing Arctic Animals. The Arctic Animals compared are: Harp seal and walrus, the bowhead and beluga whale, Arctic fox and Arctic hare, woodland caribou and polar bear, wolverine and Canada lynx, the Greenland shark and white-bearded dolphin. Each card has a color picture and a nonfiction paragraph of the Arctic animal. Included are lesson instructions, mini-lessons, 6 sets of cards (12 cards in all), a large Venn diagram with lines, and a paragraph frame. Finally, there is a rubric.
You could use this as a whole class lesson, guided reading lesson, or as a literacy center.
Common Core Standard:
English Language Arts Standards: Reading: Informational Text : Grade 5
• Compare and contrast the overall structure (e.g., chronology, comparison, cause/effect, problem/solution) of events, ideas, concepts, or information in two or more texts.
You can use these worksheets and cards however you like, as every teacher has their own teaching style. I have literacy centers set up, so these just fit perfectly. I use them to introduce compare and contrast, and then as a literacy center. You could also use it as a guided reading skill lesson.
Basically, I start each day with a 15 minute mini-lesson. I do this for the first 5 days. Then, the following week, I set up the literacy center. I laminate the 6 sets of compare and contrast cards. I print them out on tag board. On one side I glue the picture, and on the other side I glue the paragraph. Each set of cards is whole punched and I use a brad to keep them together. This way a student can just grab one set of cards, without mixing them up.
I make lots of copies of the Venn diagram and the paragraph frame. I put everything into a folder. Then, students choose a set of cards. They read them, fill out a Venn diagram, and fill out the paragraph frame. There are 6 sets of cards, so that gives them one set to do each day. At the end of the week, I have them pick one paragraph frame and re-write it for a grade.
Also, if you like this lesson, you should check out some of my others:
Close Reading Killer Whales
Are the Bees Disappearing? Close Reading Lesson
Close Reading Yellowstone Wolves
The Loch Ness Monster Close Reading Unit
Megalodon Shark Close Reading Unit
Do Mermaids Exist? Close Reading Unit
Shark Controversy Close Reading Unit
Bigfoot Close Reading Unit
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