For literary analysis, it’s two; for research writing, it’s two texts and a video.
Students then put checkmarks next to items that the texts have in common.
To compare the things or ideas, you will focus on the similarities between them.
To contrast the things or ideas, you will focus on the differences between them.
For example, if you are comparing objects, you might consider descriptions such as size, shape, color, sound, weight, taste, texture, smell, and number.
You can probably think of other ways to compare the objects.As always, students will need lots of modeling and practice to master this step.Editor’s note: Sarah Tantillo has agreed to share her other PARCC Prep materials with our readers.Many students struggle with this task, I believe, for two reasons: (1) Teachers often rely on Venn diagrams to teach the concept of “compare and contrast,” and Venn diagrams are not a useful way to organize writing.They were meant for discussions around set theory, not for essay writing. Could you write an essay from notes inserted into this?What remains unchecked should be dealt with in the “contrast” paragraphs.But you can’t easily write an essay from those notes. Here is a simple graphic organizer to help students turn those notes into an outline for writing (click on the image to download a student-friendly PDF version).(2) Teachers tend to assume that students can transfer their “understandings” from Venn diagrams into full-blown essays, so they don’t spend enough time explaining how to outline and develop the evidence and explanation needed.As I’ve noted previously (here and here), instead of trying to fill in Venn diagrams, students should annotate texts with charts that have either two or three columns, depending on the number of texts.by Sarah Tantillo In the PARCC literary analysis task, students must closely analyze two literary texts—often focusing on their themes or points of view—and compare and contrast these texts.In previous posts, I’ve proposed a lesson series to tackle this task and a tool for teaching students how to infer theme, which is a common requirement since Common Core Reading Anchor Standard #2 is “ This post deals with the challenge of how to organize a compare-and-contrast essay.