Identifying Similarities and Differences

 

Many students, including students with disabilities, experience difficulties on an array of teaching and learning activities, which rely on abstract thinking, such as comparisons involving similarities and differences; classifications, generalizations, & concepts; analogies and; metaphors. These types of abstractions and concepts can assist in increasing the efficiency of the student's memory by collecting and organizing details; therefore, details are easier to store and retrieve. To address these difficulties, lesson plans, school-based interventions, and IEPs may utilize hands on activities, including drawings, like the following:

 

a. Identifying similarities and differences - The Venn Diagram provides students with a visual display of the similarities and differences between two items, which can be utilized in teaching & learning activities. The similarities are listed in the intersection of two circles. The differences are listed in the parts of the two circles that do not intersect.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The following graphic organizer can also be utilized in teaching and learning activities to identify similarities and differences between objects, events, people, or places being studied. This can assist students when writing notes, doing research, reading a selection, and/or writing a composition:

 

 

 

These types of graphic organizers, which assist in identifying similarities, can also be utilized to teach towards generalization, by showing how information learned in one situation and be utilized in others.

 

Hands on teaching and learning activities, like the following, can also be utilized to assist in identifying similarities and differences across the CCCS: 

 

Classroom activity, that can help students see the similarities and differences between bird and human adaptations:

 

Through a feature analysis, help students understand and recall similarities and differences in living & nonliving:

 

Feature Analysis Chart – Similarities & Differences Between Living & Nonliving

 

Moves Itself

Responds to Touch

Can be Fed

Living Fish

Non Living Fish

Graphic of Fish

-

-

-

-

+

Fish in the Water

+

+

+

+

-

Stuffed Animal

-

-

-

-

+

 

 The above feature analysis chart can be revised to assist in teaching and learning activities, including observations, which note similarities and differences between items across the CCCS:

 

b. Classifications, generalizations, and concepts - Classifications, generalizations, and concepts must be integrated in teaching and learning activities throughout the CCCS. The following graphic organizers can be customized with examples to help students understand and develop concepts, classifications, and generalizations in all the core curriculum content standards:

 

Category 1

Category 2

Category 3

Category 4

Category 5

List Examples

List Examples

List Examples

List Examples

List Examples

 

 

 

Based on the student’s strengths and weaknesses in deductive and inductive reasoning, the teacher can:

 

 

Generalizations - The following graphic organizer, which utilizes a generalization/principle pattern, can be used to organize information into general statements with supporting examples, is aligned with the Health and Physical Education Standard 2.1A, 2.1B, 2.1C, 2.1D, 2.1E, and 2.1F

 

 

 

Concepts - The following graphic organizer represents the most general of all patterns, which can be revised for teaching and learning activities across the CCCS. This concept pattern can organize information around a word or phrase that represents entire classes or categories of persons, places, things, or events. The characteristics or attributes of the concept, along with examples of each, should be included in this pattern. The concept pattern below is aligned with Career and Life Skills Standard 9.1A & 9.1B:

 

 

c. Analogies – Graphic organizers can be utilized to assist students in visualizing and understanding analogies in all CCCS, as the following examples suggest. In the first example the student would utilize inductive reasoning to determine the relationship (e.g., dog and snake are examples of mammals and reptiles respectively). Based on the subject, the teacher could have substituted other items in the boxes. In the second example, the student would fill in the boxes with examples that represent cause and effect relationships regarding the particular subject.

 

 

 

  

d. Metaphors &/or Similes – The following hands on activity can be utilized to introduce students to metaphors:

 

Some examples of Related framework activities:

 

For Standard 1.1B, Grade 8, CPI 2: The student will distinguish among artistic styles, trends, and movements in various art forms.

 

   

·    The National Anthem - Students will listen to various versions of the National Anthem - The Marine Band (traditional), Whitney Houston (pop), Jimi Hendrix (Rock), and Stan Kenton (Jazz)

    ·    Students will respond to the patriotic appropriateness of each version.

    ·    Utilizing the elements of music, students will discuss how each element helps to create the mood of the piece

    ·    Students will discuss how the National Anthem could be presented in other musical genres,

    ·    Discuss how the National Anthem is presented in today's world.

 

 

For standard 3.1A, Grade 8, CPI 1: The student will identify and use organizational structures to comprehend information. (e.g., logical order, comparison/contrast, cause/effect, chronological, sequential, procedural text).

 

Upon completing a unit on novels, small groups select two favorite characters for comparison and contrast. In a mini-lesson, the teacher guides the students’ recall of categories for comparing and contrasting characters. After each group analyzes its characters, the group determines how to present its work to the class (e.g., visual materials, a play, or an essay).

 

In addition, the following hyperlinked Inspirations Templates and Kidspiration Activities, can assist stakeholders in these endeavors:

 

Kidspiration Activities and Inspiration Templates that can Serve as Models, with or without modifications, for Identifying Similarities and Differences Across the Curriculum and Grades

Alike and Different Analogy Animal Classification
Book Comparison Comparison Concept Map
Culture Comparison Making Sets Real or Make Believe