Comparative Thinking, Effective Instruction and Its Role in Student Achievement

The ability to compare and contrast is a fundamental aspect of reading comprehension and so an important one of the twelve central reading strategies that make up CARS & STARS Online.

To be able to compare or contrast something – characters, events, descriptions, entire stories, indeed any element of text – requires that you first have a cogent enough understanding of it to be able to evaluate and rightly assess or judge it against something else. 

Demonstrating the skill of comparison therefore gives a crucial insight into a reader’s abilities and thought processes, because it requires both a necessary understanding of text read and a comprehension level high enough to be able to critically engage and evaluate the concept in regard to something else, which may be similar in certain aspects or different in others.

Questions about comparison and contrasting in the program often ask a student to undertake textual analysis whereby a closer reading of the text elicits likenesses between two things that are at first glance quite unalike, or to compare two things that might seem more similar and yet determine those aspects that make them crucially different.

A student undertaking CARS & STARS Online will answer questions about comparing and contrasting in every exercise across the program, so central is this ability to the development of a competent and engaged reader who can process text at a high level of understanding. 

As with many of the reading strategies featured in CARS & STARS Online, comparing and contrasting is also a skill that, once learnt, will be useful throughout the student’s life and not merely as a reading tool. The ability to think like this – and to be able to evaluate information or concepts as they relate to others – is a crucial aspect of media literacy and life in general in the twenty-first century.

If you are interested in learning more about the CARS & STARS Online subscriptions and how they can help children to achieve better results, then sign up for a 30-day free trial to be an integral part of your child’s reading success.