Compare And Contrast Essay Format 3rd Grade

Picking up from yesterday's lesson, we will be using our T-Chart of similarities and differences to write about the two stories " Miss Nelson is Missing" and "Miss Nelson is Back" by Harry Allard. As students come in they are given a Comparison & Contrast Card (see resource). In an effort to engage students more, I have been trying to "Hook" them as early into the lesson as I can. In my school we are departmentalized so 3rd graders switch classes like middle and high school students. Although this allows me to concentrate my efforts into planning for one subject, we spend a good bit of time getting students quiet at the beginning of class as they walk in the door. So I've been researching ways to maximize my time and get students involved in the lesson as soon as they come in. Tickets in the door, helps to get them focused and ready to learn.

With this activity, as students sit down they are instructed to fill out the card on both sides. On one side the card asks students to explain or describe a similarity in the events of the two stories in a complete sentence. On the other side, students are asked to do the same with a difference between the two stories. I beef up the task, by telling students to make sure their sentence is interesting and really gets the readers attention. the purpose of this is for students to get comfortable expressing their thoughts about the stories in writing. I circulate the room looking at students' statements and make comments as I go around. When students are finished, I call on several students to share their responses.

Next, I tell students that we will be using our responses in our lesson today to write about the differences and similarities in the story. 

Materials and Technology

Student Interactives





  • LCD Projector hooked to a computer with a word processor, or an overhead projector

  • Word processor software

  • General classroom supplies (pencils, paper, etc.)

back to top



Grades   3 – 12  |  Student Interactive  |  Organizing & Summarizing

Comparison and Contrast Guide

The Comparison and Contrast Guide outlines the characteristics of the genre and provides direct instruction on the methods of organizing, gathering ideas, and writing comparison and contrast essays.


Grades   3 – 12  |  Student Interactive  |  Organizing & Summarizing

Compare & Contrast Map

The Compare & Contrast Map is an interactive graphic organizer that enables students to organize and outline their ideas for different kinds of comparison essays.


Grades   K – 12  |  Student Interactive  |  Organizing & Summarizing

Venn Diagram

This interactive tool allows students to create Venn diagrams that contain two or three overlapping circles, enabling them to organize their information logically.


back to top



back to top



  • Set the projector up so that the teacher is facing the class and able to type the text (or write easily on the overhead) and the class is able to follow along.

  • Familiarize yourself with the basic commands of the word processor on the computer that you're using.

  • Test the Venn Diagram student interactive, Comparison and Contrast Guide, and Compare and Contrast Map on your computers to familiarize yourself with the tools and ensure that you have the Flash plug-in installed. You can download the plug-in from the technical support page.

  • Prior to this lesson, students should have learned how to write introductions and conclusions. The ReadWriteThink lesson Leading to Great Places in the Elementary Classroom can be a useful resource for exploring introductory sentences.

  • (optional) For background information on the compare and contrast essay format, see Literacy Education Online's Comparison/Contrast Essays.

back to top

0 thoughts on “Compare And Contrast Essay Format 3rd Grade”


Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *