How to Compare & Contrast Stories by One Author: Lesson for Kids

Instructor: Mary Grace Miller

Mary Grace has taught first grade for 8 years and has a Bachelor's degree in Elementary Education and is licensed in ESL.

Have you ever wondered how to compare and contrast stories? What about stories by the SAME author? This lesson will teach you about the difference between comparing and contrasting and give you some tools to help you do it!

Comparing & Contrasting

Close your eyes and think about a tiger and a lion. How are they the same? If you thought that they are both cats, they are both large, and they both have tails, you just used the skill of comparing! When you compare, you think about how things are the same, or similar, to one another.

Contrasting is the exact opposite of comparing. When you contrast, you're looking for traits, or characteristics, that are different. If you contrasted a lion and a tiger, you might notice that tigers have stripes but lions do not, or that tigers are usually orange, while lions are usually gold. They still have things in common, but when you contrast, you're noticing the differences.

Let's Practice!

How does this work in books? Let's think about two books you might have read by the author Dr. Seuss: Green Eggs and Ham and The Cat in the Hat.

Green Eggs and Ham and The Cat in the Hat are both fiction books, which means they are not true. Dr. Seuss made up both of those stories, and they did not really happen! Another thing that is the same is that both books rhyme. They are fun to read out loud, and they're fun for students who are just starting to read because they can use the rhyming pattern to figure out the words that come next.

Now, let's think about what is different. Although both books are fiction, the characters are different: Green Eggs and Ham has completely imaginary characters like Sam-I-Am, while The Cat in the Hat has human kids as two of the characters. The books have different settings: Green Eggs and Ham takes place mostly outside, while The Cat in the Hat occurs mostly in the house, where the Cat is up to no good. There are problems in both books, but they are different problems: in Green Eggs and Ham, the storyteller is scared to try new things, while in The Cat in the Hat, the boy and girl are trying to keep the house under control where the Cat is going crazy!

Some questions to think about when you're comparing and contrasting stories by the same author are:

  • Are the books fiction or non-fiction?
  • Are the characters the same?
  • Is the setting the same?
  • Are the problem and solution the same?

Tools For Comparing And Contrasting

There are a couple of tools that make comparing and contrasting even easier. Let's learn how to use them.

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