October 6, 2017
By Jasmine Gibson

Lesson plan

They Sound Alike

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Students will be able to make inferences when comparing and contrasting two stories.

(5 minutes)
  • Tell students you are doing something interesting this weekend, but you aren’t going to tell them what because you’d like them to guess. Show them several items related to a known activity (e.g., hiking boots, walking stick, binoculars, bird watching book, etc.) and ask them to think about what activity you might be planning on doing
  • Listen to student ideas, and after they have guessed, ask them how they knew or came up with their guess (e.g. experience hiking or birdwatching).
  • Write the word "infer” on the board and explain that to InferMeans figuring out something that wasn’t completely explained in the book.
  • Tell students that you can make inferences by activating your prior knowledge and using EvidenceThat the author gives to you. Explain that evidence can be found when an author shows or tells you something specific. For example, hiking boots can be evidence of going on a hike.
(10 minutes)
  • Bring out the second set of items that relate to the similar activity and ask students to compare the two groups of items by finding what is the same.
  • Draw a Venn diagram on the board and write the comparisons on one side.
  • Explain that students just ComparedOr found the similarities or things that are the same in the two groups of items.
  • Ask them to look again and find things that are different. Record their ideas on the Venn diagram.
  • Explain that to ContrastMeans finding the differences between two things.
  • Point to the Venn diagramYou used and tell students that this is a special tool that readers can use when comparing and contrasting two similar stories.
(20 minutes)
  • Ask students to raise their hands if they have ever heard of Cinderella.
  • Tell students that you are going to read aloud two different versions of the Cinderella story and that are going to practise making inferences while comparing and contrasting the two stories.
  • Read aloud the two stories to the class. While reading, pause and ask students to make inferences about each story. Write up inferences on the board to capture student thinking.
  • After reading, discuss with the class how the stories are similar and how they are different.
(15 minutes)
  • Pass out the I Can Infer worksheets and have students complete them for the two stories read aloud.


  • Gather a small group of students to analyze the stories together. Work as a team to make inferences and find comparisons and contrasts within the books.


  • Pass out the Finding Comparisons or the What’s Happening? worksheets and have students complete them using information from the read alouds.
(5 minutes)
  • Assess whether students are able to make accurate compare and contrast statements about the read aloud books during the classroom discussion.
  • Collect student work to check if students were able to make inferences and support their inferences with evidence from each book.
(5 minutes)
  • Have students share their inferences and supporting evidence with the class.
  • Encourage students to discuss their thinking about each of the stories as they share their work.

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