Beacon Lesson Plan Library

Alike, Different, or Both?

Christy Simms


Students compare and contrast two characters from the play [The Diary of Anne Frank] on a Venn diagram and write a paragraph showing similarities and differences.


The student uses a prewriting strategy suitable for the task (for example, brainstorming, using a graphic organizer, listing ideas).

The student writes notes, outlines, comments, and observations that reflect comprehension of sixth grade level or higher content from a variety of media.


-Blank copy of Venn diagram for each student (see associated file)
-Blank copy of checklist for each student (see associated file)
-A copy of [The Diary of Anne Frank] for each student
-Sample of completed Venn diagram (see associated file)
-Overhead projector


1. Download and print a copy of blank Venn diagram, completed sample of Venn diagram, and checklist from the associated files.
2. Make copies of Venn diagram and checklist for each student.
3. Make copy of sample Venn diagram on a transparency sheet.


1. At the start of this lesson the students will have already read the play [The Diary of Anne Frank].

2. The students are told that the ultimate goal of the lesson will be to write a comparison-contrast paragraph.

3. Students are given a blank copy of a Venn diagram (see associated file.)

4. Students are reminded of the correct way to fill in a Venn diagram. Students are shown a completed sample of a Venn diagram on the overhead (see associated file.)

5. Teacher asks if there are any questions at this point in the lesson. Any questions will be answered before lesson is continued.

6. Students select two characters from [The Diary of Anne Frank] to compare and contrast. Students are told that selected characters should have at least one trait in common.

7. Using the selected characters, students fill in their Venn diagrams. Students may refer back to the play if necessary.

8. Completed diagrams will be shared with teacher in a short, informal conferencing session.

9. Students write a complete paragraph demonstrating their understanding of the similarities and differences of the chosen characters.

10. Students turn in paragraphs for teacher to assess. Teacher assesses paragraphs using the checklist found in the associated file.

11. In order to provide feedback, completed checklists will be returned to students. Students review checklists to have an awareness of how they did on their comparison-contrast paragraphs.


Note: This lesson assesses only the students' ability to write a paragraph using information compiled from the Venn diagram, and not their ability to demonstrate a correctly written paragraph.

The students write a paragraph demonstrating their understanding of the similarities and differences of the characters. Formatively assess students on their comparison-contrast paragraph for completeness and accuracy using a checklist (see associated file.)


Teachers may choose to have students expand their paragraphs into complete comparison-contrast essays.
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