Observing Similarities and Differences
Bob Valiant, 14 March 2004
Thinking Skill Emphasized: Observing Similarities and Differences
In this activity, students are asked to observe two or more things for detail, then identify similarities and differences.
This activity begins by having students observe for detail 2 or 3 objects or events. These might be 3 tools, items of clothing, photographs, characters in a book, etc. Once the detailed descriptions are prepared, the instructor asks the students to lists similarities and differences. An added activity is to set up a situation where the student is expected to differentiate between relevant and irrelevant differences.
For the tool example, describe something that is to be built. The students are then asked to identify the differences among the tools that are critical to the construction project. If the tools are all of a particular type, let us say pliers, long-nosed pliers, and vise grips, the detailed differences can come into play.
Grade Level Range: Early childhood to adult
Subject or Course: Any