Comparing and contrasting activities require students to make connections between their own knowledge and the text and/or between the different concepts explored within a text, leading to a deeper understanding of the content. To be able to accurately assess the information, the reader needs an in depth understanding of the elements being compared or contrasted – characters, events, descriptions, passages or whole texts – and then to critically engage with these elements. These type of activities also require students to identify key vocabulary which subsequently assists in vocabulary development.
Graphic organisers such as Venn diagrams are a particularly useful way to help students compare and contrast information.
Dreher, M., & Gray, J. (2009). Compare, Contrast, Comprehend: Using Compare-Contrast Text Structures With ELLs in K-3 Classrooms. The Reading Teacher, 63(2), 132-141.