Compare & Contrast: Teaching Comparative Thinking to Strengthen Student Learning


By Harvey F. Silver

Published by ASCD

Build students’ comparative analysis skills.


This PLC Guide focuses on Compare & Contrast, a critical thinking strategy unique in its capacity to build students’ memories, eliminate confusion, and highlight crucial similarities and differences.

Research shows that comparative thinking strategies are the single most effective way to improve student learning. Compare & Contrast takes the natural human capacity to make comparisons and maximizes its effectiveness by leading students through a four-phase learning process that involves

  • Describing each item separately using criteria.
  • Capturing key similarities and differences on a comparison organizer.
  • Forming and discussing generalizations and conclusions.
  • Synthesizing learning by completing a relevant task.

The book makes creating a PLC approachable and troubleshoots one of the greatest obstacles to educators who attempt to create a PLC: time. The Strategic Teacher PLC Guide does it all for you. It provides clear delineation of the compare-and-contrast process, and I can see myself applying this same systematic approach to other higher-order thinking skills.

Joni Allison

National Board-certified ESOL teacher, Henderson County, NC

Additional information

Weight 0.70 lbs
Dimensions 8.5 × 11 in
Poster Size

20.0" × 32.0"



First Publication Date

June 2010







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