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LC Module: Comparison Thinkers

“The brain processes new information by recalling it, and learns by overlaying a known pattern onto an unknown pattern to find similarities and differences. When learners compare and see similar patterns, and contrasts things to find differences, learners make connections and can better understand concepts. This fosters relationships and connections to new understanding. Results of employing these (comparison) strategies can help to boost student achievement from 31 to 46 percentile points (Stahl & Fairbanks, 1986). (NREL, 2005)
“According to the experts, comparative thinking is one of our first and most natural forms of human thought. When we are infants, one of the first differences we must identify is that between mother and other. Without the ability to make comparisons—to set one object or idea against another and take note of similarities and differences—much of what we call learning would quite literally be impossible. By compiling the available research on effective instruction, Marzano, Pickering, and Pollock (2001) found that strategies that engage students in comparative thinking had the greatest effect on student achievement, leading to an average percentile gain of 45 point. More recently, Marzano’s research in The Art and Science of Teaching (2007) reconfirmed that asking students to identify similarities and differences through comparative analysis leads to eye-opening gains in student achievement.” (Silver, 2010)
“Research indicates that the identification of similarities and differences is a basic component of human thought and that the concept of similarity is important to different forms of cognition, including memory and problem-solving (Marzano et al, 2001a; Gentner & Markman, 1997; Sylwester, 1995). Marzano, Pickering and Pollack (2001a) recommend that teachers both present students with explicit guidance in identifying similarities and differences and have students identify similarities and differences independently. The four cognitive processes that are effective for generating similarities and differences: comparing, classifying/ categorization, metaphors or analogies.” (Ohio Dept of Ed, 2014)
“When learners classify, they identify features or characteristics of a group of objects or ideas, and then develop a scheme to organize those objects. Metaphors are created when two ideas or experiences are compared based on a common underlying structure. We never cognitively understand something until we can create a model or metaphor that is derived from our unique personal world.” (NREL, 2005)
“In understanding the significance of categorization in learning, researcher claims that to perceive is to categorize, to conceptualize is to categorize, to learn is to form categories, to make decisions is to categorize.” (Bruner, 1996)

30 MIN

GC305 – Comparison Thinker – Clarify and Classify Tool

GC305-S3 – Clarify and Classify – Following lesson, Alexa or Instructor will guide students, individually, with a partner, in a small group and/or class to brainstorm the key concepts learned in the lesson, either by listing the concepts on individual Concept Squares (slips of paper or index cards, cut in half) or a blank sheet of paper. Next, teacher-provided or self-generated categories will be used to clarify, classify and categorize the related individual concepts together. Last, students will share their rationale and criterion for grouping the items into each selected category.

20 MIN

GC304 – Comparison Thinker – Justification with Argumentation Skills (Journal Entry)

GC304-S3 – Justification with Argumentation Skills – Justification with Argumentation is to state and defend an opinion on a critical question using reasoning and argument based upon evidence. Using a three step process, Alexa or Instructor will lead students, individually, with a partner or small group, to respond with a written opinion to the Critical Question from the lesson. Students will begin by writing that it is their opinion that so and so. Then, students will compile and write what evidence they have to support their opinion. Next, they will describe an opposing view on their paper, noting how these two opinions compare and contrast. Last, students will share their response, if requested.

20 MIN

GC303 – Comparison Thinker – Venn Diagram Comparison Chart (Journal Entry)

GC303-S2 – Venn Diagram Comparison Chart – Experts claim that identifying and understanding similarities and differences might be the “core” of all learning. As directed, after lesson, individually, with a partner or small group, Alexa or Instructor will lead students in developing a Venn Diagram, showing similarities and contrast of two related items or concepts from the lessons. First, students will create a list of characteristics for each concept or object and star the ones that are similar in both columns. Next, three circles will be drawn on a page overlapping the center circle equally. The starred characteristics will be inserted into the center circle column and the remaining characteristics added to the appropriate columns.

20 MIN

GC302 – Comparison Thinker – Comparison Component Chart (Journal Entry)

GC302-S4 – Comparison Thought Chart – Discovering similarities and differences is the “core” of all learning because it enhances students’ understanding of and ability to use knowledge. Following the lesson, as directed, individually, with a partner or small group, Alexa or Instructor will guide students in identifying similarities and differences of a concept or object within the lesson. To compare the different components of two objects or concepts within the lesson, students will be directed to complete a comparison assignment, use the existing Comparison Chart format provided.

10 MIN

GC301- Comparison Thinker – Metaphor Comparison Map (Journal Entry)

GC301-S3 – Metaphor Comparison Map – Metaphors increase connection, understanding, retention and long-term retrieval. Using a three-step process, Alexa or Instructor will lead students, individually, with a partner or small group, to develop a Metaphor Sentence Map using a person, place, object or concept from the lesson. A metaphor does not use words, such as like or as. Instead, one thing is said to be another, such as “She is a Walking Dictionary”, “You are My Sunshine” or “It is Raining Cats and Dogs”.

10 MIN

GC300 – Comparison Thinker – Analogy and Simile Map (Journal Entry)

GC300-S3 – Analogy and Simile Comparison Map – Using a three step process, Alexa or Instructor will lead students, individually, with a partner or small group, to develop Comparison Maps. First, students will be provided with simile and analogy examples. Then, students will be guided to create their own maps from a list of tangible objects or ideas from today’s lesson. Last, students will be directed to develop their own comparisons using an object or idea from the lesson and their own personal world.

Achievement Points - The gears located on each module provide some research specifics why the strategy used in each module raises student achievement. You can click on the gear to read and click on the gear again to eliminate the research box retrieved. For more citation reference information, please refer to the Learning Connect Research Resource Guide in the left hand column of this website.