Lessons & Units :: Compare and Contrast 4th Grade Unit

Lesson 1: Compare and Contrast Passages

Lesson Plan

Learning Goal
Compare and contrast two nonfiction passages.
Approximately 50 minutes
Necessary Materials
Provided: “Frogs at Risk” Passage, “Follow that Koala” Passage, Graphic Organizer, Independent Practice Passages and Worksheet
Not Provided: chart paper, markers
  • Teacher Modeling

    will read aloud “Frogs at Risk” (passage is provided in 'Texts For This Lesson') and identify the main idea as, “Many species of frogs and toads in Ecuador are at risk of dying out.” I will read aloud “Follow That Koala” (passage is provided) and identify the main idea as, “The number of koalas in Australia is decreasing.” I will explain that these two main ideas are similar, but they are about different animals. I will explain that we can compare and contrast the two articles. I will create a Venn diagram (example is provided) and begin comparing and contrasting frogs and koalas based on the information given in the two articles. (See Direct Teaching and Guided Practice Example Graphic Organizer, provided below in Teacher and Student Materials.) Note: Provide only one or two examples so that the class can add to the Venn diagram in the Guided Practice.

    TIP: Chart and discuss the similarities and differences while you read the two articles in the Direct Teaching.

  • Think Check

    Ask: How did I compare and contrast two nonfiction passages? Students should respond that you read both passages and identified their main ideas. Then, you compared their main ideas to look for similarities and differences. Finally, you compared and contrasted details from the two passages by rereading each passage carefully and thinking about similarities and differences between the two passages.

  • Guided Practice

    will continue using the Venn diagram to compare and contrast frogs and koalas. (See Direct Teaching and Guided Practice Example Graphic Organizer provided below.)

  • Independent Practice

    will read two articles, “Water Woes” and “The World in Our Hands: Protecting the Planet.” You will complete a Venn diagram comparing two conferences: The World Water Forum and the International Children’s Conference on the Environment. (Student Independent Practice passages and worksheet are provided below.) Note: Students will need to save their Independent Practice Venn diagrams for use with Lesson 2.

    TIP: Struggling students may find it helpful to underline similarities in the articles and circle differences before completing the Venn diagram.

Build Student Vocabulary isolated

Tier 2 Word: isolated
Contextualize the word as it is used in the story Koalas only live in isolated pockets on the East Coast of Australia.
Explain the meaning student-friendly definition) Isolated means alone and away from others. The author is telling the reader that koalas live in areas away from other koalas and animals.
Students repeat the word Say the word isolated with me: isolated.
Teacher gives examples of the word in other contexts My grandmother lives in an isolated area. There are no other houses closes by. She has to travel a long way to get to the town. My neighbor had a mean dog that had to be kept in isolation. He couldn’t be near other dogs, because he would attack them. We were isolated by the snowstorm. We couldn’t get the car out of the garage and the telephone lines were down. I was kept isolated from the rest of the family when I had the measles so that no one else would get sick.
Students provide examples Can you think of someone or something that is isolated? Start by saying “_____________________ is isolated.”
Students repeat the word again. What word are we talking about? isolated
Additional Vocabulary Words tracking, volunteer

Build Student Background Knowledge

Tell your students that you are going to read a passage about koalas. Explain that koalas are members of an animal family called "marsupials." and are related to kangaroos. Marsupials have pouches where their babies develop and are born. A newborn koala, or a “joey," is the size of jellybean when it is born, and grows in the pouch until it is ready to face the world.

Texts & Materials

Standards Alignment

(To see all of the ReadWorks lessons aligned to your standards, click here.)

User Comments

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How can I grab the Independent articles separately? I specifically need to the second article: ..."Protecting Our Planet"

Instead of getting all of the materials as one large PDF file, you can download and print a part or parts of the larger PDF. To do this, click on the "Texts & Materials" tab. Then you can click on the individual links. For example, the passage you are interested in is located in the "Student Independent Practice."

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