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Grade Range:

Compare and Contrast

Lesson Plan
Gina Ceely

Instructional Unit Content

Content Area Standard
ELACC7W7: Conduct short research projects to answer a question, drawing on several
sources and generating additional related, focused questions for further research and
ELACC7W8: Gather relevant information from several sources while avoiding
ELACC7SL5: Include visual displays in presentations to support claims
ELACC7SL4: Present claims, emphasizing relevant facts and details, using eye contact, a
loud enough voice, and clear pronunciation.
TAG Standard
Advanced Communication Skills:
1. The student uses written, spoken, and technological media to convey new learning or
challenge existing ideas.
2. The student produces written and/or oral work that is complex, purposeful, and organized,
includes relevant supporting examples and manipulation of language.
3. The student creates products and/or presentations that synthesize information from diverse
sources and communicate expertise to a variety of authentic audiences.
Advanced Research Skills
1. The student uses a variety of print and non-print resources to investigate a topic of interest.
2. The student formulates original and appropriate questions to test the limits of an existing
body of knowledge.
3. The student uses concepts within and across disciplines to develop valid hypotheses, thesis
statements, or alternative interpretations of data.
4. The student selects appropriate research tools and methodologies (e.g., historical,
descriptive, developmental, case, field, correlational, action, survey, interview) to conduct
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scientific investigations.
5. The student gathers, organizes, analyzes, and synthesizes data from multiple sources to
support or disprove a hypothesis.
6. The student develops and uses systematic procedures for recording and organizing
9. The student uses APA or MLA style to document/cite references, resources, quotations,
notes, and bibliographies.
10. The student defends research findings in a presentation or exhibit.
Creative Thinking and Creative Problem-Solving
5. The student develops original ideas, presentations, or products through synthesis and
Higher Order Critical Thinking Skills
1. The student asks probing, insightful, and relevant questions.
2. The student responds to questions with supporting information that reflects in-depth
knowledge of a topic.
3. The student conducts comparisons using criteria.
4. The student makes and evaluates decisions using criteria.
5. The student predicts probable consequences of decisions.
Summary/Overview: During this lesson, students will be using the Compare/Contrast
strategy as an introduction to writing research. The teacher will guide the students in
formulating a research question, formulating criterion and/or questions for research as
well as a hypothesis, and gathering information relevant to answering his or her queries.
Enduring Understanding(s):
research is focused, not merely gathering facts
not all information is equal, quality (relevant) vs. quantity (irrelevant)
compare/contrast strategy is valuable in that it provides point of reference and
guides decision-making when choosing relevant information
Essential Question(s):
In what ways do our words impact others? The information we choose to include and
the information we choose to leave out when presenting a topic will directly affect the
impact that the information has on the audience.
Concepts to Maintain:

general vs. specific

relevant vs. irrelevant
synthesis of information to reach a conclusion

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Evidence of Learning:
What the students should know:
research is not merely gathering facts
formulating criteria and/or focused research questions aid in making sure that
relevant information is gathered and used
plagiarism is a very serious offense
what MLA citation is
we must cite both information and images used in research
What the students should be able to do:
formulate a question for research
work with teacher to formulate criteria and/or questions for research
determine whether information is credible or not
determine whether information is relevant or not
paraphrase information found from sources
use MLA citation so as to avoid plagiarism
Phase 1: Hook
Have you ever found yourself trying to decide between two things, like a toy, a video
game, a movie? Have you ever heard one of your parents debating which car, home, or
even brands to buy? Were you or your parents ever disappointed with what you chose
afterwards? How does one decide which items to invest in?
Phase 2: Acquiring Content
1. Pose the essential question, In what ways do our words affect others? Ask students
to try relating this to our hook. Collect student responses.
2. Explain that this week we are going to learn about forming research questions and
conducting short, focused research projects. When we are finished with this lesson, you
should be able to answer the following questions: Why do I need a focused research
question? What is the difference between research and information gathering? Why do I
need criteria or research questions for research and why are this important? Why is the
information you choose to include in your research important and how does it affect the
audience? (EQ: How do our words affect others?)
3. Using the PowerPoint entitled, Compare Contrast Research introduce the
compare/contrast strategy to students. This PowerPoint will introduce our research
question, In a battle, which animal would win, a mongoose or a king cobra? Students
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will then work with the teacher to determine which criteria would be important to answer
this question. This will allow the teacher the opportunity to point out the importance of
leaving out irrelevant and/or biased information. The PowerPoint will also review
paraphrasing and MLA citation.
4. Based on the story we have read in class, Rikki-tikki-tavi, have students formulate a
hypothesis for our research question. After reading Rudyard Kiplings Rikki-tikki-tave,
which animal, mongoose or king cobra, would win in a battle?
Phase 3:
1. Hand out criteria worksheet and assign students 1 of 4 pieces on either mongooses or
snakes and have him or her read and take paraphrased notes from his or her assigned
piece. Demonstrate for students how the criteria act as focused research questions: What
are physical features of a mongoose? What are the defense weapons of a king cobra?
2. After students have taken paraphrased notes, group them into groups of four, one that
has read each of the four pieces. Hand out the Animal Comparison Chart and have
students work together to compile/synthesize the information.
3. Class discussion: What did you learn about king cobras and/or mongooses that you did
not know? Have students formulate a conclusive statement that answers our research
question. How did comparing and contrasting these two animals help you formulate your
answer? Why was it important to use the criteria? How can criteria help us in further
research endeavors?
4. Enrichment: Demonstrate/work with students to pose questions for further research,
such as, We have learned that the mongoose is a very invasive and aggressive species
that moved in and took over the natural habitat. Why didnt Kipling present it this way,
and/or how does this mirror British Colonialism?
Summarizing Activity: Animal Battle Royale
1. Read and show students the book, Who Would Win: Killer Whale vs. Great White
2. As a summarizing activity, students will be working individually to create a paper
storybook, digital book, or informational video wherein he or she presents relevant
research on a pair of animals of his or her choice. He or she will need to formulate a list
of criteria, which may include many of the same criteria used in our model lesson, then
conduct research to gather information in each of these areas. Then, the student will be
expected to use the Choice Board in order to produce a final product that will be
presented to the class. In their presentation, students will present the two animals they
have chosen, tell the class his or her hypothesis as to which animal would win should the
two go head-to-head, then present relevant information and give an final decision on
which animal would win the battle.

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Anchor Texts:
Rikki-tikki-tavi Prentice Hall Literature Textbook pages
PowerPoint Compare Contrast Research
Compare Contrast Criteria Worksheet
Compare Contrast Animal Comparison Chart
King Cobra
Mongoose on the Loose
Snake Charmer Tames 17-Foot Cobra
Animal Battle Royale: Assignment Sheet and Choice Board

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