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Why Compare and Contrast?

Comparing and contrasting items allows our students to practice thinking analytically. They have to figure out how the items are the same (compare) and how they are different (contrast). The ability to think also aligns with the basic concept of Common Core, which is ensuring our students are learning by process rather than just memorizing. Many of us are familiar with the Venn Diagram model for comparing and contrasting. Storyboard That took that model and adapted the compare and contrast concept to work with the storyboard approach using a T-Chart.


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Contrasting Differences

In a three-column format of a T-Chart graphic organizer, the two items are in the first and last cells. In these cells, only one of the items is described at a time. For example, if contrasting apples and oranges, the apple will have one cell and the orange will also have one cell. Within each of their respective cells, only details pertinent to that particular fruit will be recorded there.

Comparing Similarities

After the unique qualities of both apples and oranges have been described, the user describes the qualities or attributes that the items have in common. Comparing lets students make connections to two objects, people, or ideas, that they may not have considered before.


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Though the description above explains completing the unique features of the items first, that is not a requirement. Many students may find it easier to complete the comparison aspect first or even to complete them together as they think of different qualities.

Fact vs. Opinion

In education, we spend a lot of time teaching our students how to think critically and to understand what they are learning. The resources we use in the classrooms are full of facts. Often there are also opinions included among the facts and it is important that students be able to distinguish between the two. Fact or Opinion can be used when teaching any subject to help students learn to distinguish within their resources. It would also be a helpful tool when teaching students about persuasive essays. They are often full of both facts and opinion and it can sometimes be difficult to identify between the two.


Create a T-Chart*

Pros and Cons

There are so many decisions facing children and youth today that it is important that we educate them to help guide them in making the correct ones. A pros and cons chart is a great way to demonstrate the thought process that goes into making an educated choice. The T-Chart layout is perfect for creating such a layout. A two-cell chart automatically creates the divide. A pros and cons format is great for all students, but can be especially great for students who struggle with making appropriate and safe choices.


Create a T-Chart*

Make Your Own Compare and Contrast Templates

This template is just that, a template. You are free to organize it anyway that works for you and your students and customize it based on their level and needs. The compare and contrast template is created using our T-Chart Layout. Learn more about this graphic organizer in our T-Chart article.

To create your own T-Chart follow these simple steps:
  1. Open Storyboard Creator
  2. Click on “Storyboard Layout”
  3. Choose “T-Chart”
  4. The default is 3 cells, perfect for comparing and contrasting!

The compare and contrast format has a little something for everyone, and with Storyboard That, the addition of images makes learning fun! We are confident you will enjoy using it in your classroom.


Image Attributions


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Find this Common Core aligned resource and more like it in our Elementary School Category and other Special Education Articles!
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