Tips, Titles and Tools for Teachers

Instructional Resources for Comparison Reasoning

Many teachers are working with students this month on comparison reasoning, so I thought I would share a few resources and book recommendations related to this topic.

I know that first grade is looking at similarities and differences between owls, while kindergarten is planning to use photographs of two animals as part of their close reading. Second grade teachers have been comparing colonial life to our life today. At Williams, many teachers are using comparison reasoning related to culture and how people celebrate various holidays.

You can use the resources in this week's newsletter to support your students in understanding how to compare two topics. I know in the Reasoning Process training with Debra Pickering, she often reminded us to introduce comparison thinking with fun topics. I hope these resources support your work!

Happy Reading,


Great New Mentor Text

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The text and illustrations in this book are absolutely beautiful! It is the perfect mentor text for ideas (details), organization and word choice! The pattern of the text repeats the phrase "Over the snow..." and "Under the snow...", which would be a great introduction to comparison. This text would be a great read aloud in writing workshop for the upcoming winter season! At the back of the book, Kate Messner also provides information about the animals in the text. I highly recommend this book as mentor text in both primary and upper elementary classrooms!

Excellent Book Series for Comparison Reasoning

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If you are looking for books to introduce or review comparison reasoning with your students, the Who Would Win? series is the perfect choice. Here are just a few of the titles in the collection.
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Using a set of photographs purchased on Teachers Pay Teachers (from @CasedillaCrumbs 2015), kindergarten teachers are launching close reading by asking students what similarities and differences they notice between two animals. Students at any age could be given photographs or paintings to start a discussion using comparison reasoning!
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It's important to remember to include the similarities and differences on your comparison matrix so students can explain how the two items are alike and different. Students in the primary grades can put an equal sign or an unequal sign between the items to show if the two items are similar or different.

More Mentor Texts for Comparison

Honeybee Book Program at Atwood

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Hippos Are Huge is a great mentor text for informative writing! Each two page spread has larger text with engaging and interesting facts, as well as a smaller fact box with more detailed information. If you read this text in writing workshop, ask the question "What do you notice?" about how the writer organized the text.

Here are some great instructional ideas for using this book!

Black Bear Book Titles for Animal Lovers

All summaries are from

Shelly Moody

Instructional Coach

Williams Elementary School

Atwood Primary School