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        5-7, 13+

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        Comparing and Contrasting Information and Forming an Opinion - Santiago and Morris

        Students use a T-Chart to take notes and then write a compare/contrast paragraph about a therapy dog.

        Lesson Summary


        Students take notes on a T-Chart to show how Morris, a therapy dog, helps Santiago and Lisa. Then students use a graphic organizer to write a paragraph using the compare and contrast organizational structure. 

        Why is this an important concept?

        When learners can take ideas and compare and contrast them, they can better comprehend the complexity of the ideas. Comparing and contrasting looks at the similarities and differences between or among ideas. Noting the similarities and differences in ideas leads to the abilities to generalize, categorize, sort, evaluate, and understand new information. 

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        The Lesson

        Part I: Learning Activity

        1. Brainstorm what students know about therapy dogs. Who do they help? What kinds of help do they provide? Take down their ideas on the board.

        2. Show students the Morris T-Chart with Santiago at the top of the left column and Linda at the top of the right column. As they watch the video segment, ask them to write how Morris helped Santiago in one column and how Morris helped Linda in the other column.

        3. After viewing the video, give students an opportunity to complete the T-Chart and discuss their ideas.

        For students who need additional teacher guidance:

        • View video in several segments, rather than from start to finish. Guide a discussion of each segment, and help students decide what information to add to each column of the T-Chart. Record the first few ideas on the board on a T-Chart you draw. Suggested pauses:
          • Pause after Linda says, "The touch of the dog doesn't burn the way it does with a human touch."
          • Pause after Linda says, "Morris helps me to do the laundry."
          • Pause after Santiago says, "He'll just make you happy, no matter what. That's how he is."
          • Continue to the end of the segment.
        • After viewing the video, give students an opportunity to complete the T-Chart and discuss their ideas.

        Part II: Assessment

        1. Introduce the Morris Paragraph Frame handout. Using the Morris T-Chart, students complete the compare and contrast paragraph frame.

        2. Review the Morris Opinion rubric with the class.

        3. Then have students write a paragraph that states an opinion about the importance of training therapy dogs. Supporting details should be based on ideas from the video and personal knowledge. 


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