ALEX Lesson Plan


Alike...but yet Different!

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  This lesson provided by:  
Author:Christy Harrell
System: Opp City
School: Opp Elementary School
  General Lesson Information  
Lesson Plan ID: 33067


Alike...but yet Different!


In this lesson, students will compare and contrast the themes, settings, and characters in stories written by the same author about the same or similar characters.

This is a College- and Career-Ready Standards showcase lesson plan.

 Associated Standards and Objectives 
Content Standard(s):
ELA2015 (3)
8. Compare and contrast the themes, settings, and plots of stories written by the same author about the same or similar characters (e.g., in books from a series). [RL.3.9]
ELA2015 (3)
9. By the end of the year, read and comprehend literature, including stories, dramas, and poetry, at the high end of the Grades 2-3 text complexity band independently and proficiently. [RL.3.10]
ELA2015 (3)
29. Recall information from experiences or gather information from print and digital sources; take brief notes on sources and sort evidence into provided categories. [W.3.8]
ELA2015 (3)
31. Engage effectively in a range of collaborative discussions (one-on-one, in groups, and teacher-led) with diverse partners on Grade 3 topics and texts, building on others' ideas and expressing their own clearly. [SL.3.1]
a. Come to discussions prepared, having read or studied required material; explicitly draw on that preparation and other information known about the topic to explore ideas under discussion. [SL.3.1a]
b. Follow agreed-upon rules for discussions (e.g., gaining the floor in respectful ways, listening to others with care, speaking one at a time about the topics and texts under discussion). [SL.3.1b]
c. Ask questions to check understanding of information presented, stay on topic, and link their comments to the remarks of others. [SL.3.1c]
d. Explain their own ideas and understanding in light of the discussion. [SL.3.1d]
ELA2015 (3)
34. Report on a topic or text, tell a story, or recount an experience with appropriate facts and relevant, descriptive details, speaking clearly at an understandable pace. [SL.3.4]

Local/National Standards:


Primary Learning Objective(s):

Students will use writing and speaking to compare and contrast elements of books from the same author including themes, characters, and settings.

Additional Learning Objective(s):

Students will gather information from print, take brief notes on source, and sort evidence into provided categories.

 Preparation Information 

Total Duration:

31 to 60 Minutes

Materials and Resources:

Books by the same author with the same or similar characters. Examples include: 

A Chair for Mother and Something Special by Vera B. Williams

Junkyard Wonders and Thank You, Mr. Falker by Patricia Polacco

Rotten Richie and the Ultimate Dare and My Rotten, Redheaded Older Brother by Patricia Polacco

Dear Mrs. LaRue and LaRue for Mayor by Mark Teague

The Table Where Rich People Sit and The Desert Is Theirs by Byrd Baylor

Mercy Watson Goes for a Ride and Mercy Watson to the Rescue by Kate DiCamillo

Attached graphic organizer

Sticky notes


Chart Paper with Patricia Polacco written across top

Peer Evaluation Rubric (attached)

Technology Resources Needed:

Computer with Internet Access

Digital Projector or Interactive Whiteboard

Patricia Polacco Interview


Teacher will: 

Check website to insure it is still available

Make copies of attached graphic organizer (one per student of both Patricia Polacco graphic organizer and Blank graphic organizer)

Gather books by same author (one set per group of students)

Make copies of attached Peer Evaluation Rubric (four copies per student)


Before Strategy:  Video/Jot Notes

Students will watch a video of an interview with Patricia Polacco and jot notes on sticky pads of interesting facts. After watching the video, students will turn and talk with a partner about their jot notes. Teacher will call on random students to share. Post sticky notes on chart paper labeled Patricia Polacco.

During Strategy:  Jigsaw

Teacher will read Rotten Richie and the Ultimate Dare and My Rotten, Redheaded Older Brother by Patricia Polacco. Teacher and students will discuss how these stories are alike and different, and complete the attached graphic organizer which compares and contrasts elements from the two stories (We do).

Learning Groups: students will be placed into groups of four (mixed ability levels). Each group will be given two books by the same author with the same or similar characters. Each group will read the stories and discuss how they are alike and dfferent. Working together, each student in the group will complete the graphic organizer (Y'all do).

After Strategy:  Jigsaw

Sharing Groups: Students from each group will number off 1-4. All number ones will go to a designated spot in the room with their graphic organizers; all number twos will go to another designated spot in the room with their graphic organizer; etc. Each new group should have a representative from each Learning Group. Students will use their graphic organizer to share the two stories they read and how they are alike and different. 

Students will evaluate each other using the attached rubric.

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Assessment Strategies

Teacher observation as students are reading and discussing books.

Completed graphic organizer

Peer evaluation rubric




Students will be placed into groups so that all reading levels are represented. Students will have a peer helper within their group to help with difficult words and concepts. Teacher will meet with students who struggle with this concept for followup lessons on comparing and contrasting.

Each area below is a direct link to general teaching strategies/classroom accommodations for students with identified learning and/or behavior problems such as: reading or math performance below grade level; test or classroom assignments/quizzes at a failing level; failure to complete assignments independently; difficulty with short-term memory, abstract concepts, staying on task, or following directions; poor peer interaction or temper tantrums, and other learning or behavior problems.

Presentation of Material Environment
Time Demands Materials
Attention Using Groups and Peers
Assisting the Reluctant Starter Dealing with Inappropriate Behavior
Be sure to check the student's IEP for specific accommodations.