Thursday, November 18, 2010

Compare - Contrast Graphic Organizer

"Once upon a time there were two boys, born on exactly the same day, but in different countries."

Thus began my Think-Pair-Share activity that in addition to having the students practice their auditory and speaking skills, would move into a compare-contrast theme.

Story telling, and allowing my students to repeat the story has proven a very good interactive instructional strategy.  This week's lesson began with the story I wrote about "Bomb" who was born in Thailand on March 31st, and "Bob" who was born in the U.S.A. also on the 31st of March. 

The story then went on to talk about how they were the same and different:  Bomb was the youngest of five children, Bill was the oldest of five children;  Bomb grew up in a rural area, whereas Bill grew up in an urban area.  And so on and so forth the story continued....

One-on-one instruction, works best!

As I told the story of Bomb and Bill, the students were then asked to retell the story to each other.  I moved throughout the classroom, monitoring the conversations.

Think-Pair-Share gives each student the opportunity to not only hear the story twice, once by me and once by one monk in the pair, and to tell the story once.  Excellent method that provides a great structure to encourage students to talk with each other.  It also provided them with a great way to understand how Bomb and Bill were alike, as well as how they were different.

The next step was to allow groups of three students to independently develop a "Compare-Contrast Graphic Organizer" based on topics I gave each group.  Examples included to compare-contrast:  a dog and a cat; an elephant and a pig; a chicken and a parrot.

Each group presented their "Compare-Contrast" graphic organizer to the whole class.  One student read the way their two items were alike, then the other two monks read how their two items were different.
Providing some one-on-one assistance to a monk.  Directly behind me is the white board, with part of the graphic organizer visible for the Compare-Contrast activity.
Listening intently........

Providing immediate feedback to the students is key to my helping them improve their English language skills.

The Compare-Contrast concept has been the theme for the whole week.  Plan to conclude  the week with having my students guess what two items I compare and contrast, by explaining how the two are alike and how they are different.  Examples I'll use might include a book and a T.V., a river and a swimming pool.  This will be challenging for the monks, but I'm sure they will enjoy it.

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