I am learning to compare two texts with similar themes so that I can develop a criteria for personal preferences.
- I can identify the similarities and differences between two texts with common themes
- I can identify personal preferences
- I can present explanations for personal preferences
Ask students what they noticed was the same between the two texts, and what was different. Answers for similarities may include the theme of prehistoric animals in a group. Differences include the setting (street vs swamp), the text type (poem vs song) and the character actions (visiting the beauty shop vs the creation of a noisy brigade). Students may also point out the accompanying illustration with Come and See the Dinosaurs compared to the singers for the Prehistorical Animal Brigade.
Students fill out a comparison worksheet on the two texts using a template such as page 19 on Jennifer Findley’s Paired Passage Graphic Organizers. Next to each similarity and difference, encourage students to think about whether this is something they like or dislike. This can be done a number of ways. For example:
- colour coding red for dislike, orange for neutral and green for like
- cross for dislike, question mark for neutral and tick for like
- a number scale, with 1 being dislike to 5 being like a lot
Have students discuss with a partner what they liked and disliked about the two texts and to think about the reasons behind each choice (for example, if they like that the Prehistorical Animal Brigade included a woolly mammoth, they should identify the reason is because they personally like woolly mammoths). After the discussion, students tell their partners which text they prefer.
In their books, students write a few sentences about their personal preferences with reasons for their choice. Encourage them to include the information they wrote into their graphic organisers to help with their explanation. Two examples are given below.
I preferred Come and See the Dinosaurs because I liked the rhythm of the poem and the illustration that went with it. I also liked that the dinosaurs had their nails painted because it’s a funny idea. The Prehistoric Animal Brigade felt like a nursery rhyme for little kids and I didn’t like the singing.
I didn’t like either of the texts because I don’t like dinosaurs. I think the idea of dinosaurs going to a beauty shop is silly, but I also think a dinosaur brigade doesn’t make sense because woolly mammoths didn’t live at the same time as dinosaurs.