Compare & Contrast Lesson for Kids: Definition & Examples

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  • 0:03 How Do I Compare?
  • 0:50 How Do I Contrast?
  • 1:44 Mapping It Out
  • 2:08 Lesson Summary
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Lesson Transcript
Instructor: Jeremy Cook

Jeremy has been teaching in elementary education for 13 years and holds a master's degree in Education

Would you pick pizza or mac and cheese for dinner? How would you choose which one to eat? I'll bet you'd use compare and contrast skills to help decide. In this lesson, you will examine how to compare and contrast and the tools available to help with this skill.

How do I Compare?

Have you ever had to make a decision between two things? Maybe you wanted two toys but could only get one. How did you pick which one you wanted? Most likely you used compare and contrast skills to decide. When we compare and contrast, it's generally between two things. When we compare, we look to see what is the same about the two things. The more related to each other the things are, the more there is to compare.

If we were to compare an apple and an orange, we would look at what things are the same or similar between the two. For example:

  • They are both fruit.
  • They both grow on trees.
  • They are both round.
  • They both can be eaten.

These are some of the things they have in common, so they fall into the compare category.

Apple Orange Compare

How Do I Contrast?

Contrasting is the opposite of comparing. When we are contrasting, we are looking at the differences in the two things. The key to contrasting is to find one aspect of something and then figure out how that aspect is different in the other. Sound confusing? Let's look at an example.

In the example of an apple and orange, we know that oranges have thick skin and apples don't. In order to contrast, we have to think 'if the orange has thick skin, what does the apple have?' Apples have thin skin. So we would say: oranges have thick skin, and apples have thin skin.

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