Compare and Contrast Lesson Plan

Instructor: Sharon Linde

Sharon has a Masters of Science in Mathematics

Use this lesson plan to guide your instruction on comparing and contrasting. In addition, find an activity to help them practice the skills comparing and contrasting with text, increasing understanding of the topic.

Learning Objectives

After this lesson, students will be able to:

  • define compare and contrast
  • use graphic organizers to compare and contrast
  • analyze and evaluate information


  • 1 hour


  • Copies of a familiar poem, one for each student
  • Copies of a familiar song, one for each student
  • Chart paper

Curriculum Standards

  • CCSS.ELA-Literacy.RI.9-10.6

Determine an author's point of view or purpose in a text and analyze how an author uses rhetoric to advance that point of view or purpose.

  • CCSS.ELA-Literacy.RST.9-10.9

Compare and contrast findings presented in a text to those from other sources (including their own experiments), noting when the findings support or contradict previous explanations or accounts.

  • CCSS.ELA-Literacy.W.9-10.2

Write informative/explanatory texts to examine and convey complex ideas, concepts, and information clearly and accurately through the effective selection, organization, and analysis of content.


  • Begin by playing our lesson How to Compare & Contrast Ideas in a Reading Selection.
  • Pause the lesson at 1:11 to discuss comparing and contrasting. Ask:
    • What does it mean to compare? Contrast?
    • What are some examples of comparing and contrasting?
    • How are comparing and contrasting similar and different?
    • When would you be asked to compare and not contrast?
  • Show the rest of the lesson.
  • With students, review the steps used to compare and contrast. Record them on chart paper.
  • Ask:
    • What tools can be used to organize thinking when comparing and contrasting?
    • How can we organize data for many objects?
    • How can we determine a relevant fact vs. an irrelevant one?


  • Tell students they will be practicing comparing and contrasting the genres of poetry and songwriting.
  • Remind them of the steps necessary to effectively compare and contrast, then hand out copies of the poem and the song.
  • Give the prompt: ''Compare and contrast the poem and the song.'' For a collaborative element, divide students into small groups.
  • Students should work to determine the method of collecting data, find the details, and evaluate them. Instruct them to use the chart paper for the graphic organizer.
  • Support student understanding by providing feedback as they work.
  • Have students share their ideas. Correct any confusion. For a collaborative element, allow students to interact and evaluate one another's work.
  • Ask students to write a one sentence explanation of comparing and contrasting as wrap up.


  • Have students write a short paragraph using the findings from this activity.
  • Compare and contrast different genres and types of music by analyzing the lyrics to popular songs.
  • Ask students to research different types of graphic organizers and find one they consider to be both unique and helpful in comparing and contrasting two things. Ask them to explain their reasoning in a paragraph.

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