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Winter Compare and Contrast Writing Activities ESL



If you're anything like me, coming back from a long winter break can be tough thinking about making lesson plans, as well as thinking of ways to engage students. If you are an ESL teacher like myself, you might even be trying to find ways to get one more compare and contrast practice round in before the ACCESS test. That's why I created this activity centered around a favorite winter topic: penguins! There is LOTS to get into, and I can't wait to show you everything! Let's jump in!


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The first thing you will find in this resource, is my 5 day lesson plan guide explaining where to begin with step by step directions for each activity. This includes a close reading activity. You will print the two nonfiction passages and read them as a class. You will then choose two highlighter colors (my favorite part!) and your students will help you find things that are the same and different about the two penguins. I have included an answer key so this will be an easy task for you when teaching!




After completing the close reading activity, students will fill out the venn diagram. If students don't know how to use venn diagrams, do a quick model for them. I have included an answer key for you to use if you choose to do this as a whole group activity.


Inspired by "Tic-Tac-Toe" I have included a "3-in-a-row Compare and Contrast" Game! You can use any kind of counters/chips for this game. Your students will take turns putting down a chip and using the sentence frames to practice using comparing language. You can point out beforehand that the yellow highlighted words are words to use when talking about ways that the penguins are the same. The blue highlighted words are words to use when talking about ways that the penguins are different. They can use their compare/contrast venn diagrams to help with this game!




One of my favorite things to use are interactive notebooks! Especially with my ESL students. They are a great way to organize information in a unique way to practice writing, reading, and speaking. These are flip book/worksheet style. You can always go through and do a quick flip-through review at the beginning of your class/block.




Put all that learning to work at the end of these activities with a writing assignment! There are 15 differentiated writing paper options for you to choose from for all ability levels. Some include fill-in-the-blank sentence stems and others do not. You can choose which one best suits your students' needs.


I hope this resource will be useful for you and your students this winter! As always if you have any questions please don't hesitate to reach out in the "contact me" tab and follow me for more winter fun to come! Happy Writing!


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