Guided Comparisons with Venn Diagrams

two overlapping circles with a red center

Purpose:  to encourage learners to compare and contrast short reading texts, and build familiarity with the Venn Diagram graphic organizer.

Preparation Time:  5 minutes

Materials Needed:  two short texts on the same topic

Procedure:

  1. Pass out copies of the first text. Have the learners read it several times using multiple reading approaches (teacher reads while learners listen, teacher reads and learners repeat, learners read in partners, learners read silently, etc.).
  2. Put learners into groups of 3-4.
  3. Write the words who, what, where, why, when, how on the board. Have the learners discuss the text and write down key words from the story that answer the questions.
  4. Pass out copies of the second text. Have the learners read it several times using multiple reading approaches (teacher reads while learners listen, teacher reads and learners repeat, learners read in partners, learners read silently, etc.).
  5. In the same groups, have learners discuss the second text and write down key words from the story that answer the questions.
  6. Draw a large Venn Diagram on the board. Label the left circle “Reading 1” and the right circle “Reading 2.” Ask for volunteers to come up to the board and write down key information in the two circles.
  7. Have the learners look at the two circles and see if there is anything that is the same between them. When the learners call out points that are the same, write them in the overlapping circle in the middle.
  8. In their small groups, have the learners talk about the Venn Diagram. Write sentence frames on the board such as “Reading 1 was different than Reading 2 because…” and “Both of the readings talked about…”
  9. Repeat this exercise the following day or week. Have the learners complete Venn diagrams independently in their small groups before putting them up on the board.

Modification: If you have a beginning level class, you can do the same activity with two pictures. Hand out a photo and have the learners talk in small groups about what they see, then write their observations down on the left side of the circle. Then pass out a second picture, and have the learners talk to their group about what they see, then write their observations down in the right side of the circle. Have the learners put the pictures side by side, and talk about what is the same. Write their observations down in the middle circle. Guide the learners through statements comparing and contrasting the two pictures.

This activity addresses College and Career Readiness Standard Reading Anchor 9, Levels A and B.

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