Comparing and Contrasting Books!

Contributor: Jennifer Blanchard. Lesson ID: 13898

A lot of books are written by the same author! Learn how to spot what is the same and what is different between them. The best part is, when you finish one book, there are more to read!


English / Language Arts, Literary Studies

English / Language Arts
learning style
Auditory, Visual
personality style
Beaver, Golden Retriever
Grade Level
Intermediate (3-5)
Lesson Type
Skill Sharpener

Lesson Plan - Get It!

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Pete the Cat, Amelia Bedelia, The Magic School Bus, Junie B. Jones, Captain Underpants, Magic Tree House, Diary of a Wimpy Kid ...

  • What do all these books have in common?

Keep reading to find out!

In this lesson, you will learn how to compare and contrast the settings, plots, and themes of books written by the same author about the same (or similar) characters.

This is important because it will help you think deeply about multiple texts.

Okay, go back to the books listed above.

  • Could you think of something similar about them all?

I'm sure you could think of a few things that are the same, but the one we want to focus on is that these books are all parts of a series.

  • What does that mean?

A series is when there are:

  • » many books
  • » by the same author
  • » with the same characters

For example, The Diary of a Wimpy Kid is a series because there are a lot of books (11!) by the same author with the same characters.

Series are fun because, when you finish one great book, there are more to keep reading that are the same in many ways!

The characters must be the same or similar. Often, an author writes lots of books, but they are NOT part of a series unless the characters are the same or connected in some way.

For example, The Very Hungry Caterpillar and The Grouchy Ladybug are both by Eric Carle, but they aren't connected because they don't have the same characters.

These kinds of books are great too, but they're not what this lesson is about today.

So, when we look at books in a series, it's important to consider what's the same and different. It helps you to understand — and enjoy — ALL the books better!

When thinking about what is the same and different, it helps to pay attention to the setting, plot, and theme of each story. Take a moment to review these story elements with the videos below!

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As you read books in a series, you should be thinking about what is the same and different in where the story takes place, the actions and events, and what the characters (and you!) can learn from the story.

Go to the Got It! section to try this out for yourself!

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