ELA 3: Writing about Differences and Similarities

Today we're going to compare some different ways of comparing things. And you know what happens when you compare comparisons, right? Oh dear...well, we we hoping you knew. We sure don't. Maybe this video does, let's take a look.

3rd GradeLanguage Arts
Elementary and Middle School3rd Grade
LanguageEnglish Language

Transcript

00:24

Even if the choice might seem obvious.

00:26

Seriously, why wouldn't you wear the rainbow polka-dot pants? [Guy choses rainbow pants over jeans]

00:29

That's a no-brainer.

00:31

Another place you'll find yourself making comparisons? [School kids walking off the bus]

00:33

At school!

00:34

Yup, chances are pretty good that one day, you'll find yourself discussing the similarities [Teacher giving a lesson]

00:38

and differences between two works of literature!

00:41

And when it comes to putting this comparison into written words, there are two popular

00:44

ways to do it!

00:45

Let's compare them and see which we like better.

00:48

Eh?

00:49

Eh?

00:50

Compare?

00:51

See what we did there?

00:52

Ahem.

00:52

Anyway.

00:54

The first is the block method. [Coop pointing at a blackboard]

00:56

You start by explaining all the aspects of the first thing you're comparing in one big

00:59

paragraph, or block.

01:01

Then, you explain the same aspects of the second thing in the same order.

01:05

This method works well for fairly complicated material, because it allows readers to easily

01:09

look for and locate information – the first block is about the first thing and the second [The first block is highlighted]

01:13

block about the second thing. [The second block is highlighted]

01:15

Easy peasy. [A pea shouts]

01:17

The other method of comparison is the point-by-point method.

01:20

This is when you write about each aspect in turn.

01:23

So instead of talking about all the aspects of the first thing, and then all the

01:26

aspects of the second thing, you would talk about one aspect of the first thing and the [Hand wipes away the two blocks]

01:30

second thing, then another aspect of the first and second thing, and so on and so forth.

01:34

This is best done on simpler topics, since it can be very useful for making comparisons,

01:39

but it gets a little confusing if your topic is kind of complex.

01:43

Once you've decided on a method, be sure that you're choosing which aspects to compare wisely. [The two different methods next to a kid]

01:48

After all, there are an endless number of ways to compare two things, but only a certain

01:52

number of them will be interesting and helpful!

01:54

For example, if you're comparing two books about Ancient Greece, it might be useful to [The two books next to the kid]

01:58

compare how they discussed religion, but it wouldn't be useful to compare how many times [A tick appears on the comparison]

02:02

each author said the word “the.” [A no sign appears on the comparison]

02:04

…unless you're trying to put yourself to sleep.

02:06

Then by all means, go for it. [Boy asleep in bed]

02:07

But if you want to stay awake, do your best to keep things interesting! [Boy shaking because he's drank 20 cups of coffee]

02:11

So, we're pretty sure you'd drive yourself completely insane if you tried to count the

02:14

number of “the”s in a book… [Boy wrapped in paper and 'the' is written all over the walls]

02:15

For the record, we said it thirty-one times in this video.

02:18

Yes, we counted, and yes, we're completely insane.