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Compare and Contrast Characters

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Compare and Contrast Characters
CCSS.ELA-LITERACY.RL.1.9

Basics on the topic Compare and Contrast Characters

Compare and Contrast Characters

Do you want to learn to compare and contrast characters from your favorite book? Learn to compare and contrast characters with the help of a video, fun activities, and compare and contrast characters worksheets!

Character Comparison – Definition

A character comparison is a useful method in order to gather details and information about a story. First, let’s identify what exactly comparing and contrasting characters means.

When we compare and contrast two characters, we describe their similarities and differences. When we describe similarities, we talk about things that two characters have in common. When we analyze differences, we describe traits, thoughts, or actions that make these characters different from each other. We do this to analyze characters and to decide which character has more interesting traits.

Character Comparison – Strategy

We compare and contrast characters in a story based on their physical and inner traits as well as on their actions.

  • Physical traits of characters are features of their appearance (height, hair color, style, etc.)
  • Inner traits are features of characters’ personality (character, manners, opinions, etc.)

We can use any chapter books or picture books to compare and contrast characters. For example, you can compare and contrast three pigs from the famous story The Three Little Pigs. All of them have similar physical traits - they are pigs and look alike. But they have different inner traits: the third pig is more hard-working than the others, because he built his house out of brick, not straw or sticks like the other two pigs. As you can see from this example, the characters have both similarities and differences.

We can also compare and contrast the adventures and experiences of characters in stories. In this case, we need to look into the events that happen in a story.

Looking at The Three Little Pigs, we can say that all three pigs had a similar experience of building a house. However, it took the third pig more time and effort to build it.

Compare and Contrast Characters – Example

Let’s have a look at one of the comparing and contrasting characters passages.

Thomas and Emma have been best friends since kindergarten. They are both tall and have straight brown hair, so often people think they are brother and sister, which Thomas finds very funny. Thomas and Emma are used to doing everything together, and today is the first day of school for both of them! Thomas feels a little worried. He wants to make friends, but he is not sure kids will like him. Emma, on the other hand, is really excited. She can’t wait to meet her classmates and to make lots of friends!

To compare and contrast Thomas and Emma, we can use the compare and contrast characters graphic organizer:

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We can see from the passage that Thomas and Emma have a lot in common. They have similar physical traits – they are both tall and have brown hair. Also, both of them want to make friends at school. Thomas and Emma also have differences in terms of their opinions and expectations from the first day of school. Thomas is worried, but Emma is excited.

Compare and Contrast Characters – Summary

When we compare and contrast characters, we describe their similarities and differences. We compare and contrast characters in a story based on their physical traits (height, eye color, hair color, clothes) as well as their inner (personality, opinions) traits. Use this chart to remember what we compare and contrast about the characters:

Physical Traits Inner Traits
height personality
eye color opinions
hair color manners
clothes

Now you can compare and contrast characters in stories! If you want more practice, check out our videos, worksheets and activities, or download the worksheet on comparing and contrasting two characters.

Frequently Asked Questions about Comparing and Contrasting Characters

What is an example of compare and contrast?
What do you compare about characters?
Where can I find books for comparing and contrasting characters?
How do you compare and contrast two characters in an essay?
Which factors should be considered when comparing and contrasting characters?

Transcript Compare and Contrast Characters

: "What are you watching, Zayd?" : "Oh, only the BEST SHOW EVER!" : "It's called Togi Versus the World and has the COOLEST characters!" : "Oh? What are they like?" : "Togi is a giant cat that saves the world from villains!" : "I watch a show with a cat also!" : "It's called Detective Mr. Black and it's so good!" Ari and Zayd are discussing characters from their shows. We can help them learn how to "compare and contrast characters" to decide which character has more interesting traits! When you compare and contrast, you discuss the similarities and differences in something, or someone. Remember difference means that something or someone is not the SAME. You can compare and contrast characters based on their traits, or things about them. For example, there are PHYSICAL traits (...) like hair color or height. Let's compare and contrast the physical traits of Togi and Detective Mr. Black! We can use a graphic organizer to help us look at the similarities and differences. When we do this, we put the differences in THESE boxes and the similarities in THIS box. : "Togi is the COOLEST cat ever. She has brown and black fur and wears a mask while saving the world!" What did you notice about the traits of Togi? Togi has brown and black fur and wears a mask! Now, let's look at Detective Mr. Black. : "Well, Detective Mr. Black is a sleek black cat with a tiny blue hat!" What do you notice about the physical traits of Detective Mr. Black? He has black fur and a tiny blue hat. Another type of trait is an INNER trait (...) like personality. Let's compare and contrast the inner traits of Togi and Detective Mr. Black. : "WELL Togi is brave and friendly, she even listens to music while she works! What inner traits do you notice about Togi? Togi is brave and friendly. : "But, Detective Mr. Black is serious and always calm, and he listens to jazz while he works!" What do you notice about the inner traits of Detective Mr. Black? He is serious and calm. We have many traits that we noticed are different, are there any that are similar? One similarity is that both Togi and Detective Mr. Black wear accessories like a hat and mask! Is there another trait that is similar? Togi and Detective Mr. Black both listen to music while they work! And, they're both cats! But, you probably knew that. Now that we've seen their similarities and differences, is there a character that YOU like more? Before we check in with Zayd and Ari, let's review. Today we learned about comparing and contrasting characters. Remember, when we compare and contrast, we look at the similarities and differences between two things. Today we learned about two different ways to compare and contrast characters. We compared physical traits, like Togi's brown and black fur... and we compared inner traits like how Detective Mr. Black is serious and calm. Now, let's see what Zayd and Ari think! It looks like they both got absorbed into each others shows!

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Compare and Contrast Characters exercise

Would you like to apply the knowledge you’ve learned? You can review and practice it with the tasks for the video Compare and Contrast Characters.
  • What does the word "compare" mean?

    Hints

    Similar traits are traits that are the same, or almost the same. Mr. Black and Togi are both cats. This is a similar physical trait.

    Contrasting traits are traits that are NOT the same. An elephant is large. A mouse is small. These are NOT similar traits.

    Compare does not mean big.

    Solution

    When you compare things, you find things that are similar.

  • What does the word "contrast" mean?

    Hints

    Contrast does not mean similar.

    Contrasting traits are traits that are different. An elephant is large. A mouse is small. These are contrasting traits.

    Solution

    When you contrast things, you find things that are different.

  • Determine the physical and inner traits.

    Hints

    Look at Bonky Banana and Cool Canary. What are things they like to do? These are inner traits.

    What are things you can see on Togi and Mr. Black?
    Both cats have fur, this is a similar physical trait.

    Solution
    • Bonky Banana is a banana. This is a physical trait.
    • Cool Canary is a bird. This is a physical trait.
    • Bonky Banana likes the color blue. This is an inner trait.
    • Cool Canary likes the color red. This is an inner trait.
  • Compare and contrast Bonky Banana and Cool Canary.

    Hints

    Similarities are things that are the same about BOTH Bonky Banana and Cool Canary. Colors, clothing, and hobbies can all be the same.

    Can you see any colors that are different in Bonky Banana and Cool Canary? Can you see anything they both like to do?

    Solution
    • Only Bonky Banana wears blue. This is a difference.
    • Only Bonky Banana is a banana. This is a difference.
    • Only Cool Canary is a canary. This is a difference.
    • Only Cool Canary wears red. This is a difference.
    • Both Bonky Banana and Cool Canary like to read. This is a similarity.
    • Both Bonky Banana and Cool Canary are yellow. This is a similarity.
  • Compare to identify how Bonky Banana and Cool Canary are similar.

    Hints

    Different traits are NOT similar. Bonky Banana wears blue. Cool Canary wears red. These are NOT similar traits.

    Similar traits are true for both sides. Both Bonky Banana and Cool Canary are yellow. This is a similar physical trait.

    Solution

    Both Bonky Banana and Cool Canary like to read. This is a similar personal trait.

  • Compare and contrast Togi and Mr. Black.

    Hints

    What physical traits are the same for both Togi AND Mr. Black?

    What is Togi wearing that Mr. Black is not?

    Solution

    Both Mr. Black and Togi are cats. Both Mr. Black and Togi listen to music while they work. These are similarities.

    Togi has brown and black fur, but Mr. Black only has black fur. Togi wears a blue mask, but Mr. Black does not wear a mask; he wears a hat instead. These are differences.