Compare and Contrast

Comparing and contrasting activities practice analyzing how objects, ideas, or texts are alike and/or different. For example, comparing and contrasting an event in a biography of a person versus those in the person’s autobiography helps to understand how a person personally views the event as opposed to how that person is viewed by the outside world as an actor in the event.

The Little Mermaid and Her Sisters

This young mermaid is the youngest of five sisters. She has never seen the world above the sea, but she has heard many stories about the land of humans. ————————- Nothing gave her so much pleasure as to hear about the world above the sea. She made her old grandmother…

Alexander and the Jewels

Alexander pushed with all his might against a huge stone. “I saw a wizard put jewels behind the stone. If we can move it, they’ll be ours. We’ll be rich.” “It’s too heavy for us to move,” said Raja. He leaned against the rock and wiped his forehead. “We can…

Halloween in America

Hallowe’en in America

The Book of Hallowe’en was published in 1919 and described Halloween customs around the world. This passage is about how the holiday was celebrated then. —————————————————- While the original customs of Hallowe’en are being forgotten more and more across the ocean, Americans have fostered them, and are making this an…

On the Shelf

The March sisters in Little Women have grown up. Meg, the oldest March sister, is now the mother of twins: a girl named Daisy and a boy named Demi. In this passage, the twins are toddlers. While Daisy is easy to put to bed, Demi doesn’t like to go to…

Duck and Cover

DING. DING. DING. DING. Peter and the rest of his 4th grade class dove under their desks and covered their heads with their arms. After a few minutes, the bell rang again. DING. DING. DONG. DING. DING. DONG “Okay class, you can come out now,” said their teacher. Peter dusted…

The Homesick Connecticut Yankee

A Connecticut Yankee in King Arthur’s Court is the story of Hank Morgan, a 19th century Connecticut man, who suffers a blow to the head and is transported back centuries to the time of King Arthur. Once there he has many adventures while he struggles to apply 19th century American…

Primary Source: The Statue of Liberty

Designed by Frenchman Frédéric Auguste Bartholdi, the construction of The Statue of Liberty began in the 1870s. Originally named “Liberty Enlightening the World,” the statue was erected in New York Harbor and officially dedicated on October 28, 1886. However, bad weather postponed the fireworks display that had been planned for…

Friendship in a Bottle

Ari was a lonely lad who lived on a large island called Iceland. His village was a fishing hamlet along the green, rugged coastline, and Ari often wondered what lay beyond the horizon. The days were long and cold, and he spent many hours of silence in his tiny cottage…

Washington. The Legislature. And The President’s House

In 1842 Charles Dickens was probably the most famous English language author in the world. He was received around the world as a major celebrity, often mobbed by fans. It was in that year that Dickens visited the United States. He wrote and published his thoughts about his visit in…

Where I Lived, and What I Lived For

Henry David Thoreau (1817-1862) was a noted American writer, philosopher, and essayist. His 1854 book, Walden, explores his experiment in living a simplified life in the woods as a way to explore his inner self. He lived in the woods for two years. This passage reflects upon his selection of…