Compare and Contrast Arctic Animals! Venn Diagram and paragraph frame. :) Task cards, too!
This is a 21 page common core-aligned unit that focuses on the critical thinking skill, compare and contrast. It is a non-fiction unit.
The theme is comparing Arctic Animals. The Arctic Animals compared are: Harp seal and walrus, the bowhead and beluga whale, Arctic fox and Arctic hare, woodland caribou and polar bear, wolverine and Canada lynx, the Greenland shark and white-bearded dolphin. Each card has a color picture and a nonfiction paragraph of the Arctic animal. Included are lesson instructions, mini-lessons, 6 sets of cards (12 cards in all), a large Venn diagram with lines, and a paragraph frame. Finally, there is a rubric.
You could use this as a whole class lesson, guided reading lesson, or as a literacy center.
Common Core Standard:
English Language Arts Standards: Reading: Informational Text : Grade 5
• Compare and contrast the overall structure (e.g., chronology, comparison, cause/effect, problem/solution) of events, ideas, concepts, or information in two or more texts.
You can use these worksheets and cards however you like, as every teacher has their own teaching style. I have literacy centers set up, so these just fit perfectly. I use them to introduce compare and contrast, and then as a literacy center. You could also use it as a guided reading skill lesson.
Basically, I start each day with a 15 minute mini-lesson. I do this for the first 5 days. Then, the following week, I set up the literacy center. I laminate the 6 sets of compare and contrast cards. I print them out on tag board. On one side I glue the picture, and on the other side I glue the paragraph. Each set of cards is whole punched and I use a brad to keep them together. This way a student can just grab one set of cards, without mixing them up.
I make lots of copies of the Venn diagram and the paragraph frame. I put everything into a folder. Then, students choose a set of cards. They read them, fill out a Venn diagram, and fill out the paragraph frame. There are 6 sets of cards, so that gives them one set to do each day. At the end of the week, I have them pick one paragraph frame and re-write it for a grade.