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Making Comparisons

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A Venn diagram serves as a useful technique in getting students to visually organize their thoughts using two overlapping circles.

In this activity, Circle A represents all the information specific to the historical person, place or thing and Circle B contains items specific the student’s experience. The overlap, or Circle C, includes that information which is shared by Circles A and B. Students may do this activity independently or as a think-pair-share.

diagram

Have students imagine all the aspects of life during the 1700s. Frontier Family items may include: no electricity, had to make all their own clothes, did a lot of farming, made all of their own food, houses were small, simple structures. Versus a student’s family life which may include: has electricity, buys cloths at the store, goes to the grocery store, drives in a car. Overlapping items may include: uses candles, walks places, loves and supports each other, goes to school or works at a job.

diagram

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Colonial schools circle could include: uses a hornbook or a primer, ink and quills, many grades in one room, heated by a stove, calendar based on the seasons. Current school experiences could emphasize: has textbooks, pencils and pens, paper, big building with electricity, 180 days, Internet access. Overlapping items may include: has a teacher, learn reading, writing, math and other subjects, shared experience among children.

diagram

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Blank Venn diagram. Other Then and Now comparison ideas are: colonial transportation – modern transportation, colonial government – US government, colonial money – modern money, colonial jobs – today’s jobs. Students can also use the Venn graphic tool to compare people, places and events from the same historical time period. For example, some ideas are: Frontier Town - Portsmouth, 1700s; Native American – Colonial Settler; New Hampshire Colony – Virginia Colony.

diagram

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