Unit Title: Compare and Contrast

Topic: Compare and contrast story elements
Grade Level:
Unit Summary:
In this language arts unit, students participate in a variety of activities to help them analyze literay elements among stories, focusing in similarities and differences. Students will conduct activities that will help them understand relationships between character traits, story events, plot, problem-solution and settings. Students will use the Visual Ranking tool to rank character traits, and then compare those traits among characters in two different stories. They will use the Seeing Reasoning Tool to analyze events in one story. Students will also create their own project and present it to the class were they will compare and contrast themselves to a classmate.

Curriculum Framing Questions

Essential Question
How are things related?
Unit Questions
What is the importance of identifying similarities and differences?
Content Questions
What is alike (compare) and different (contrast)? What is cause and effect? What are literary elements? How do (settings, plots, events, characters) across stories share similarities and differences? What are similarities and differences between cultures?

Project Idea:
Literary Elements
  • Real World Connection(s): Compare and contrast real world events in relationships to other stories.
  • Student Role(s): Working in groups and making presentations to others about their ideas.
  • Scenarios: Compare and contrast stories found in the anthology book. Compare and contrast students' individual stories with other students in the classroom or in other classroom.

Visual Ranking Project:

  • Idea/Overview: We will prioritize character traits of the stories (The Cliffhanger and the Ballad of Mulan).
  • How will the use of the tool fit into your Unit Plan and help your students meet the learning objectives and target higher-order thinking skills? This type of tool will allow the students to analyze and use their critical thinking skills to make decisions based on the importance of the similarities in each story.
  • Concerns you might have about using the tool or incorporating ranking: It might take some groups a longer time depending on their language levels or depending on their interpretations/importance of the similarities.
  • Feedback you would like from others: Ideas to make this a better project.

Seeing Reason Project:

  • Idea/Overview: We will use evidence from the story to support the events that lead to the concluding solution.
  • How will the tool fit into our Unit Plan and help your students meet the learning objectives and target higher-order thinking skills? Students will evaluate the impact and outcome of one event over another. They must justify their reasons by using specific examples.
  • Does your unit involve a complex system or issue that warrants delving into identifying and analyzing cause-and-effect relationships? Yes, it helps the students to analyze cause and effect by relating each event in the story.
  • Concerns you might have about using this tool: Students not understanding the relationships meant by the arrows on the map.
  • Feedback you would like from others: Any and all.