Beacon Lesson Plan Library

Alike or Different You Be the Judge!

Patricia Morres
Santa Rosa District Schools


Students write an expository paragraph after comparing and contrasting items of texture, taste, odor, and visual appearance.


The student produces final documents that have been edited for: correct spelling; correct punctuation, including commas, colons, and common use of semicolons; correct capitalization; correct sentence formation; correct instances of possessives, subject/verb agreement, instances of noun/pronoun agreement, and the intentional use of fragments for effect; and correct formatting that appeals to readers, including appropriate use of a variety of graphics, tables, charts, and illustrations in both standard and innovative forms.


-Handout from teacher (see attached file)
-Materials for display which have different textures, tastes, odors and visual appearance
-White board, chalkboard or large display tablet
-Grammar book or list of transition words (optional)
-Student pen
-Student paper
-Evaluation rubric (see attached file)


1.Gather materials.
2.Prepare handout. (see attached file)
3. Choose materials to introduce lesson.
4.Prepare evaluation sheets. (see attached file)


Do a pre-writing activity which demonstrates how sensory details can be alike and different. An example of such an activity follows:

This activity works best if done in groups.
1..Give each group a different set of items such as apples, oranges, M&Ms, Skittles, felt material, burlap material, etc.

2.Let each group list the similarities and differences of the objects which their group was given. Emphasize the use of sensory detail (feel, sight, taste) as the groups make their lists.

3.After the groups share their lists of similarities and differences, explain to the class that they will be choosing two subjects to compare and contrast and will write a paragraph which explains their findings.

4.Give students the instruction handout. (See attached file)

5.Stress the use of concrete details, examples, and transition words.

6.Every student should have a copy of the evaluation rubric before beginning the assignment.

7.Guidelines for submission of the paragraph may vary. For example, students may submit a paragraph of five to seven sentences which should be written in ink on every other line or typed double spaced. A rough draft (organizer)of this assignment must also be submitted. Name period, date, and teacher name should be in the upper left and corner of the paper.

9.Review the criteria on the rubric. (see attached file)


All students who complete the assignment by writing a paragraph on the chosen topic receive 50 points. The entire paragraph (s) must deal with the topic with little extraneous information included in order to get the 50 points. Students whose paragraph(s) are off topic or contain much unnecessary information need teacher feedback in order to rewrite them prior to using the rubric. The assignment is further evaluated using the rubric in the attached file. Rating scale: using a point scale to evaluate content and usage and mechanics, rank each item 1 through 5. One is the lowest and five is the highest score. Add these scores with the fifty points given to the student for the completion of the paper
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