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Thinking and acting are both harder when things are disorganized.The same principle affects you and me as writers and readers.
Overview Featured Resources From Theory to Practice Students investigate picture books organized in comparison/contrast structures to discover methods of organization (usually a combination of the point-by-point, whole-to-whole, or similarities-to-differences patterns) and the ways authors use transitions to guide readers.
Students can then decide what organizational patterns and transitional words work best to accomplish their individual purposes in writing and apply those to their papers.
Such strategic instruction can stay with students well beyond a specific assignment.
Although many prose texts use comparison/contrast structures in passages, picture books are often perceived as more accessible to students, and therefore function better as mentor texts, as Carr et al.
note: "Often students who are struggling with the length and complexity of an assigned novel miss the subtleties of the author's craft" (148). "Not Just for the Primary Grades: A Bibliography of Picture Books for Secondary Content Teachers." Journal of Adolescent and Adult Literacy 45.2 (October 2001): 146-153.
When we talk about effective writing, we often think first about elements like word choice, grammar and mechanics, and content or evidence.
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back to top Comparison and Contrast Rubric: Use this rubric to evaluate the purpose and supporting details; organization; transitions; and conventions of students' comparison and contrast papers.
Comparison and Contrast Guide: This online tool provides students with information about and resources for using comparison and contrast structures in their writing.