A highly effective way to teach comparing and contrasting to elementary students is to read aloud a picture book that lends itself to teaching this reading strategy. Reading aloud a picture book facilitates a learning experience where you can model how to use comparing and contrasting to better understand the text and engage students in their learning by asking related questions. Below is a list of 10 picture books for teaching compare and contrast. Check out the full list, as well as the teaching resources that go with them!
10 Picture Books to Teach Compare and Contrast
Below are 10 great picture books for teaching compare and contrast.
1. Big Red Lollipop by Rukhsana Khan
This story revolves around Rubina and how she has to bring her annoying sister to a birthday party. The experience was mortifying and Rubina became frustrated with her family. Eventually, the sister was invited to a party, and their mother shared that the youngest must go with her. Rubina is able to break the pattern and explain to her family that sisters do not have to go together. Students will compare and contrast the events between sisters in this story. Check out these Big Red Lollipop activities!
2. Diary of a Worm by Doreen Cronin
This story follows the days of the worm through diary entries. The worm is just like human boys and girls. He has a best friend, goes to school, spends time with his family, and enjoys telling jokes and being silly. His mother teaches him about the Earth and how it provides everything that they need. Students will enjoy comparing their own lives with that of worms as they read this story. Check out these Diary of a Worm activities!
3. My Brother Charlie by Holly Robinson Peete
Callie and Charlie are twins, which makes them very similar. They both have curly hair and brown eyes, and love hot chocolate with marshmallows. However, even when they were very little, Callie and her mother knew Charlie was different. They learned that Charlie had autism which makes some things more challenging for him. This heartwarming story teaches students of similarities and differences that we can all connect to! Check out these My Brother Charlie activities!
4. Nerdy Birdy by Aaron Reynolds
This book tells the story of Nerdy Birdy, who has small wings and big glasses. Nerdy Birdy enjoys reading, video games, and reading about video games. He admires the other birds like eagles, cardinals and robins but they are not kind to him. Nerdy Birdy feels lonely, until he meets a friend that can empathize with him. This story allows students to compare and contrast character traits and actions within the text! Check out these Nerdy Birdy activities!
5. Same, Same But Different by Jenny Sue Kostecki-Shaw
A boy named Elliot paints a picture of his world when he is in art class. His teacher sends it across the ocean. Elliot receives a painting back from a boy named Kailish. The two start writing to each other and sharing information about their lives where they live. The boys realize that while many things are different about them, they share a lot of similarities too! For example, both Elliot and Kailish live with their families. However, they are different because Elliot has a small family while Kailish lives with parents, siblings, grandparents, aunts, uncles and cousins. This book will teach students about the lives of two boys, and here they can practice comparing and contrasting skills. Check out these Same, Same But Different activities!
6. The Pout Pout Fish by Deborah Diesen
This story is about a glum fish that always has a pout on his face. Mr. Fish thinks that because he always has a pout on his face, he is meant to spread the “dreary-wearies” wherever he goes. That is, until a new fish comes along and changes his outlook. Students can compare Mr. Fish before and after he learns what he truly can do to spread joy across the ocean! Check out these The Pout Pout Fish activities!
7. The Rabbit Listened by Cori Doerrfeld
One day, Taylor decides to build a tower with her blocks. It turns out amazing and she is proud of her work, when suddenly her tower is knocked down. When Taylor does not want to try anyone’s suggestions, they all leave. Finally, a rabbit comes along and sits quietly next to Taylor. The two sit in silence until Taylor asks the rabbit to stay with her. Eventually, Taylor starts talking, then laughing, and using all of the previous suggestions. She decides she is going to rebuild the tower and that it will be amazing. This story allows children to compare and contrast the other animals that came to help Taylor. Check out these The Rabbit Listened activities!
8. The Lion Inside by Rachel Bright and Jim Field
Mouse is little and meek and lives in a tiny house at the bottom of the rock. Hardly anyone notices him and he was often forgotten about. Lion lives at the top of rock. He is very loud and makes sure everyone knows how important he is. Through their journey of climbing, they learn that everyone has a little bit of lion and a little bit of mouse inside of them. This story lends itself to comparing and contrasting characters and students can apply these traits to themselves! Check out these The Lion Inside activities!
9. Three Hens and a Peacock by Lester L. Laminack
All is quiet on the farm until one day when a peacock shows up. Not knowing how to live on a farm, the peacock wanders down to the edge of the road. As cars drive by, they are intrigued by his colorful feathers and stop at the farm. This helps business on the farm to grow! After the hens get jealous, they do a role reversal. They quickly learn that the peacock’s job is not easy! Comparing and contrasting these two animals will come naturally as students address roles and traits. Check out these Three Hens and a Peacock activities!
10. Under My Hijab by Hena Khan
Readers are introduced to many of the important women in a young girl’s life: her grandmother, mother, aunt, sister, cousin and troop leader. Each of these women wear a hijab and style it their own unique way when they are out and about. When they are at home, we learn what their hair is like under the hijab and what they like to do. At the end of the story, the girl shares how all of the women in the story inspire her to wear a hijab just like them, or her own unique way. This story allows students to compare and contrast which unites this group of women and what makes them their own individual. Check out these Under My Hijab activities!
In closing, we hope you found this list of picture books to teach compare and contrast helpful! If you did, then you may also be interested in these posts: