Beacon Lesson Plan Library

Which Car Will Mom Approve?

Dawn Kaunike


Which car will Mom spend the money for? This lesson focuses on writing a comparison/contrast essay about two cars the student wants. The student's purpose is to determine which one of the two cars should be purchased from the parents' perspective.


The student selects and uses a format for writing which addresses the audience, purpose, and occasion (including but not limited to narrative, persuasive, expository).


-Comparison/Contrast chart (two copies for each student) (see associated file)
-Computer/Internet (if needed for research)
-Copy of formats of Comparison/Contrast essay (see associated file)
-Copies of handouts on transparencies (see associated file)
-Copies of Checklist (see associated file)


(All of the handouts should be issued one at a time as needed.)
1. Gather overhead projector, markers, and transparencies.
2.Have two copies of Comparison/Contrast chart for each student.
3. Make transparency of Comparison/Contrast chart Example and Comparison/Contrast chart.
4. Have transparencies made of “The Element of Comparison/Contrast”.
5.Have computers on and the Internet up before class begins for research purposes.
6. Make a transparency of the checklist to share with the students.


Note: This lesson instructs and assesses on creating a comparison/contrast essay.
1. Ask students if they have thought about getting their drivers license.
2. Ask students if they have determined what kind of car they want to drive.
3. Tell students to pretend that their parents have told them to pick two cars they would like to drive provided that it meets their standards. What will their parents approve?
4. Tell students to imagine that they are trying to persuade their parents to buy them one of these two cars.
5. Pick two cars and discuss as a class.(Try to pick cars that you won't have to research). As a group, brainstorm some factors that will go into determining the quality of a car. Write those items on the board.
6. After the brainstorming session, pick out three factors the students believe their parents would feel were important in determining which car to buy (suggestion: mileage, safety, price).
7. Explain that a comparison emphasizes similarities, while the contrast deal with difference.
8. Hand out the Compare-Contrast/Compare Chart. (See Associated File)
9. Put a copy of the chart on the overhead projector.
10. Explain the chart to the students.
11.Have the students fill in the chart using the information that was discussed in class.
12. After filling out the chart, discuss any questions or concerns about the chart.
13. Explain that they are to use this chart to collect information to write a compare/contrast essay.
14. Have the students fill in the chart
15. After the students have filled in their chart, explain that you want to them to complete aother chart of the two cars they mom and dad to consider buying them..
16. Hand out another Comparison/Contrast chart (or have one on the back of the first chart.)
17. Explain that they are to pick two cars that they would really like to have.
18. They may need to use the Internet to find out the details about mileage, safety, and price.
19. Once the students have determined which cars they want and the details, have the student fill in the chart for Car A and Car B (see handout).
20. Allow the student the rest of the first class period to complete their chart.
Day 2
21. Review the chart they students completed on Day 1.
22. Ask if there are any questions. Discuss questions.
23.Tell the students that they are going to write an essay comparing and contrasting the two cars they have selected.
24. Put up overheard of Element of Compare/Contrast Essay (See associated file)
25. Explain that a comparison/contrast essay has two purposes:
a. To explain the similarities and differences of two subjects in order to make either or both clear.
b.To evaluate subjects to establish their advantages and disadvantages.
26. Tell students that when they are comparing and contrasting they must compare and contrast the same elements for each item. Briefly review the three items that have been selected. (Mileage, safety, and price) Use overhead of chart, and show the items and characteristics.
27. Discuss the two usual formats for writing a Comparison/Contrast essay.
(See Handout “Elements of Compare/Contrast” -This information can be put up on the overhead projector as it is discussed.) (See associated file)
28. Discuss the two formats. (Point-by-point and subject-by-subject) (See handout Element of Comparison/contrast) (see Associated file)
29. Have the students determine which format they will use.
30. Before they begin writing their essay, discuss who their audience is, what the purpose of the essay is, and the occasion for writing the essay. Remind them that they need to include an introduction and a conclusion. Suggest that in the conclusion, they include the rational for which car they think their parents would like the best.
31. Review the assignment that they are to write an essay comparing and contrasting the two cars they have selected while addressing the audience, purpose, and occasion in the writing.
32. Before they begin the essay, hand out the checklist. ( See checklist)
33. Tell the students that this checklist is what you will use to assess their essays.
34. Encourage student to look back at their charts.
35. While the students are working, write an essay about your two choices for a car using each of the formats discussed earlier. After the students have written their essays. Share your essays with the students using the overhead projector. (This may have to be done on Day 3.)
36.Give the students and opportunity to edit their papers before the papers are turned in for evaluation.


Note: This lesson instructs and assesses on creating a comparison/contrast essay.
Evidence: The student will create a comparison/contrast essay.
Criteria: This lesson uses formative assessment criteria:
·Students use a comparison/contrast format.
·Students address audience, purpose, and occasion in writing. (see checklist)
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