a prompt like "Discuss your views on home-schooling." The
student's thesis statement would be, "Home-schooling is like a
good car (a Mexican meal, a community hospital, anything they
know something about)." Take a prompt like, "Discuss your
opinions about the rise of gas prices in your area." The
student's thesis statement would be, "Gas prices are like a
river (bananas, toys, trees in a jungle)." It's worth
considering, but regardless of how you feel about the advice,
comparing and contrasting are essential skills.
students know how to build tables (easy in Word) or other
graphic devices, they can then go to Google and fill in the
columns or blanks as they get the information. There are also
sites that compare the items for you. For example, enter
"compare XXX" and watch the list appear. Once students have the
information, which they can share with others, they are ready to
write. Be sure to have them practice transitions, similes, and
sentence structures that work for comparing and contrasting.
Help them develop graphic organizers to help organize their
Graphic Organizers (Copy and paste
those you like or create them in Power Point or Word with
get students online to practice.
lesson plans (probably GED) around consumer issues, enjoy the
http://www.consumerjungle.org/ - What a treat!
help students develop the critical thinking they need to make
decisions. If students at any level have difficulty finding
common aspects between items, have them write or discuss answers
to questions like the following:
- How is friendship like a tree?
- What do men and women have in common? How are they
- How are the planets like a bowl of floating apples (a
mobile, fish in an aquarium?)
- How is English different from Spanish?
- How is a dog like a cat?
- How is the GED like a good breakfast?
- How is a doctor like a mechanic?
- What do humans and beasts have in common?
it stretch the imagination? Absolutely, and that's what we want,
is it not? How often have you heard, "When students are
laughing, they are learning." Probably largely true! Be
outrageous, and watch the results as your students laugh their
way toward critical thinking!
Computer Skill and Resources
here. Distance-learning technology has advanced so much that you
can acquire skills with mentoring on a weekly basis without
leaving your home or workplace. For example, in less than an
hour, I can show you how to create graphic organizers in Power
Point! It's your call or email: