Lessons & Units :: Compare and Contrast 3rd Grade Unit

Lesson 1: Using Compare and Contrast Key Words

Lesson Plan

Alligators and Crocodiles | 850L

Alligators and Crocodiles
Learning Goal
Use compare and contrast key words to compare two objects.
Approximately 50 minutes
Necessary Materials
Provided: Direct Teaching Example Chart, Guided Practice Example Venn Diagram, Guided Practice Example Paragraph
Not Provided: Alligators and Crocodiles by Trudi Strain Trueit, markers, chart paper, lined paper
  • Teacher Modeling

    will present to the class a list of key words used to compare and contrast. I will read example sentences using these words. (Direct Teaching Example Chart is provided in Teacher and Student Materials below.)

  • Think Check

    Ask: How did I compare and contrast two animals in the sentences? Students should respond that you used compare key words such as similar, at the same time, and likewise. You used contrast key words such as in comparison to, in contrast, and rather.

    TIP: If students struggle to use compare and contrast key words, revisit the second grade compare and contrast unit - lesson 1.

  • Guided Practice

    will read Alligators and Crocodiles by Trudi Strain Trueit, stopping at page 22. We will complete a Venn diagram comparing and contrasting alligators to crocodiles. (See Guided Practice Example Graphic Organizer below.) We will write a paragraph comparing and contrasting three or four characteristics of alligators and crocodiles. We will use compare and contrast key words in our paragraph. (See Guided Practice Example Paragraph below.)

  • Independent Practice

    will use the list of compare and contrast key words together with the Venn diagram to write a paragraph comparing and contrasting other characteristics of alligators to crocodiles. You will include three compare key words and three contrast key words in your paragraph.

Build Student Vocabulary jaws

Tier 2 Word: jaws
Contextualize the word as it is used in the story When the author explained how a crocodilian dives, she said that, “A flap on the tongue seals the throat so the animal can grab prey in its jaws without swallowing water.”
Explain the meaning student-friendly definition) Jaws are the two bones that frame the mouth and hold the teeth. “The crocodilian grabs its prey in its jaws” means that the crocodilian was using the bones that hold its teeth to grab its prey.
Students repeat the word Say the word jaws with me: jaws.
Teacher gives examples of the word in other contexts My jaw hurt after my dentist appointment. My dog opened his jaws so I could feed him a snack.
Students provide examples What might a shark crab with its jaws? Start by saying, “A shark might use its jaws to _________________________.”
Students repeat the word again. What word are we talking about? jaws
Additional Vocabulary Words species, predators

Build Student Background Knowledge

Stop on page 10, and explain that alligators can be found at the southern tip of Florida in an area called "The Everglades." The Everglades is actually a river, or wetland, with shallow, slow moving water called marshland. The Everglades is famous for its unique grass, called sawgrass, flat land, and diverse wildlife. The Everglades is the only place in the world where alligators and crocodiles exist side by side, but the American Alligator is referred to as the "Keeper of the Everglades."

Texts & Materials

Standards Alignment

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User Comments

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very good lesson

Very Helpful

This was a good comparison for using informational text compare and contrast.