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Math for Kids23 chapters | 325 lessons

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Lesson Transcript

Instructor:
*Jeremy Cook*

I have been teaching elementary school for 16 years. I have extensive experience in lesson and curriculum development and educational technology.

Have you ever had to compare and contrast two different things? If so, you could have used the help of the Venn diagram. In this lesson, we'll discuss the Venn diagram and look at examples of this useful tool.

Say you're standing in front of two adorable puppies and you get to bring one home - but only one. How do you decide? In order to make the best decision, you could use a Venn diagram to map it out.

A **Venn diagram** is a visual brainstorming tool used to compare and contrast two (sometimes three) different things. **Comparing** is looking at traits that things have in common, while **contrasting** is looking at how they differ from each other.

A Venn diagram is made up of two large circles that intersect with each other to form a space in the middle. Each circle represents something that you want to compare and contrast. Where the two circles intersect, you would write traits that the two things have in common. In either side of the intersecting space, you would write the differences among the two things.

When there are a lot of traits in the middle space and not a lot in the outer circles, the things are very similar. And if there aren't many traits in the middle and a lot on each outer circle, the two things don't have much in common.

Now, let's create our own Venn diagram to choose which puppy you want to take home with you. One of the puppies is a poodle and the other is a Great Dane.

Start by writing down lists of information about each puppy, including important characteristics and details that will help you compare and contrast. For example, you know you want a puppy that won't grow to be too big, and your parents are worried about the puppy's hair shedding all over the furniture. Finding information like this may require a little bit of research, like looking up how big each puppy will grow to be.

Let's say your lists look like this:

Great Dane:

- Happy puppy
- Calmer and more relaxed
- Will grow to be very large
- Medium shedding
- Eats a lot
- Doesn't bark a lot

Poodle:

- Happy puppy
- Very energetic and excited
- Will stay small whole life
- Very little shedding
- Eats a little
- Doesn't bark a lot

Next, start sorting your data into the proper spaces in the Venn diagram. The characteristics that are the same go in the center, and the characteristics that are different go on the sides. Here's what our Venn diagram would look like:

From this diagram, you might decide that the poodle is the best option for you and your family, because it doesn't grow to be big and doesn't shed much.

There are a few things to consider to get the most out of a Venn diagram. First, it makes the most sense to use the Venn diagram to compare things that have some basic similarities to begin with. For instance, if you compare an apple with a Lego block, there may be nothing in common. Comparing an apple and a potato will get you more useful results.

The second thing to think about is balancing contrasting characteristics. You could look at any two things and find countless differences, but you want to try to balance these differences. For example, you could say that an apple has smooth skin. You will then want to balance this difference by saying that a potato has bumpy skin.

**Venn diagrams** are visual brainstorming tools used to compare and contrast two different things (and sometimes three different things). **Comparing** is looking at traits that things have in common, while **contrasting** is looking at how they differ from each other. The Venn diagram is made of two intersecting circles, and the traits that are alike go in the middle space while the differences go on the sides of the intersecting space.

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Math for Kids23 chapters | 325 lessons

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