Sunday, August 15, 2021

A Lesson in Comparing and Contrasting Two Short Stories

Comparing and contrasting two short stories is something your students will enjoy doing. It is a skill that can be repeated and expanded to enhance students' appreciation of literature throughout their lives. As they read more extensively and watch more videos, they can apply this skill to compare a book to a screenplay, a book to a movie, a news report to a documentary, and on and on. 

At first, when teaching this concept, I suggest that you choose the two short stories that you want them to compare and contrast. Be sure to choose stories that have some common elements. If you are entirely familiar with the stories, it will be so much easier for you to grade their work. I also suggest that you assign the same selections to the whole class. 

Here is the sequence when teaching this lesson: 

  • Prepare a rubric to use as an instructional tool to let students know what you expect in their essays. 
  • Assign a point value to each element in the rubric to make it easier to determine the grade on the paper.

  • Assign the two stories as an in-class reading assignment or for homework. 
  • Give students the instructions you want them to follow while writing their essays.
  • My instructions are to write a four-paragraph composition in which they discuss three similarities and three differences between the two stories or novels). The first paragraph is the introduction, the second discusses three similarities, the third discusses three differences, and the final paragraph is a summary of the main ideas. (I include specific details in the rubric.)
  • Give them a copy of the rubric you will use to grade their work. Tell them to study it, so they know what you expect when they write their essays.
  • Have students brainstorm on a graphic organizer and take notes on the plot, characters, theme, point of view, and tone of each of the short stories 

  • Assign writing a four-paragraph composition in which they discuss three similarities and three differences between the two stories (or novels) that they are comparing. 

If you are working with students who will need to write such essays frequently, do this assignment again. This time, let them choose the literary selections they wish to compare and contrast. 

You can prepare this lesson just as you wish, and your students will be successful. Grading the papers should not be a time thief for you if you prepare the rubric first. However, if you want this lesson ready to go with everything already prepared, you will find it here in my TpT store

This resource is both printable and digital and can be used in Easel by TpT™.

Thanks for reading. Here are some interesting blog posts from my teacher friends in The Best of Teachers Entrepreneurs Marketing Cooperative.

   All the best,

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