For ELLs or anyone who may have difficulty completing a Venn diagram, try these tips and strategies:

  • Recognize academic vocabulary. Introduce these words that signal compare/contrast: distinguish between, differentiate, group, identify, illustrate, point out, recognize, separate, describe common attributes, describe  commonalities, describe differences, classify.
  • Graphic organizers. Venn diagram as well as many other types of graphic organizers are useful for  visualizing and organizing information to compare and contrast, including Compare Contrast Matrix, Double Bubble Chart, T Chart, and Semantic Features Analysis.
  • Partner practice. ELLs should not only be able to complete a Venn diagram, but they must know how to explain the similarities and differences, too. Encourage partners to practice explaining their Venn diagrams to each other as a way to help them become more comfortable and familiar with the academic language. They can use sentence frames for help.
  • Signal words. Displaying a chart in the classroom of compare/contrast signal words and/or sentence frames allows students to recognize the text structure while reading while also helping them to speak and write fluently about comparing and contrasting.  Here is an example:

compare contrast signal words

Filed as:  3-5, 6-8, 9-12
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