K-12 Teaching and Learning From the UNC School of Education

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Learning outcomes

Students will:

  • learn to use a graphic organizer to compare and contrast weather in two places.
  • learn how to organize data they collect and record it on a Venn diagram.

Teacher planning

Time required for lesson

3 days


  • Venn diagram placemats
  • Venn diagram chart
  • Small objects like math manipulatives
  • Magazines pictures
  • Overhead transparency of a Venn diagram
  • Handout of Venn diagram printed on paper

Technology resources

  • Overhead projector
  • Computer


Day 1

  • Overview: The students will be able to visualize likeness and differences in objects. The students will learn how to organize data they collect and record it on a Venn diagram. The teacher will model the use of the strategy using concrete objects.
  • What: Students will use hands-on experiences to learn how to use a Venn diagram to compare similarities and differences in objects and pictures.
  • Why: “We are going to learn how to use a graphic organizer called a Venn diagram that will help us compare and contrast information. Remember that compare and contrast is when we look for similarities and differences in things. We want to identify the qualities of each object and what makes them special.”
  • Show overhead transparency of blank Venn diagram. “How many of you have ever used a Venn diagram before?” Discuss responses. Let students share past experiences with Venn diagrams. Guide students into when a Venn diagram can be used. Say, “For our first example we will compare and contrast an apple and an orange.”
  • Ask for volunteers to hold the apple and orange. Discuss characteristics of each. “What does it look like? Look at shape color and size. What do you so with the object? What kind of food is it?” Decide as a class if each characteristic is a similarity (alike) or a difference (different). Label the chart with the responses. The teacher will model how to complete the chart using the information gathered. Ask for volunteers to come and orally interpret the chart.
  • Select a boy or girl to compare and contrast their clothes. Follow the same procedures in the first example. “How are their clothes alike and how are their clothes different?” Teacher again will model how to complete the chart. Then try to compare two very different objects, such as a pencil and a dog. Ask the students if it would make sense to compare two very different objects. Point out that if the objects being compared don’t have a lot in common it’s useless to use a Venn diagram.
  • If students need further examples in practice with the above activities, other objects or magazines pictures will be used. If students have an understanding of the activities, move on to working in pairs on the following tasks.
  • Divide students into partners. Pass out Venn diagram place mats to partners. Give students two manipulatives to compare and discuss. They will identify at least three similarities and three differences and enter the information on the Venn diagram chart. The teacher will walk around and discuss and monitor student progress.
  • Closure: “Who can tell me why we use Venn diagrams?” Wait for a response. Elaborate if needed. “When can we use a Venn diagram?”

Day 2

  • Overview: Students will be able to visualize likeness and differences in weather in two places. The students will continue to learn how to organize data they collect and record it on the Venn diagram. The teacher will call everyone’s attention to the weather displayed on the computer. The teacher will model how to look up different weather reports for different cities.
  • What: Students will use Venn diagrams to compare similarities and differences in objects and communities. Students will listen to a weather report and be able to use a Venn diagram to compare different weather.
  • Why: “We will continue using the Venn diagram to review how to compare and contrast information. We will begin looking at similarities and differences in weather. Students need to be aware of surrounding area characteristics for traveling or moving.”
  • Review what happened in the activity in Lesson One. “What did we learn about comparing and contrasting? Why did we use a Venn diagram? How does using the diagram help us organize the information of similarities and differences? Today we are going to look at several weather reports. What types of weather are going on? We will select one to compare and contrast with our weather. Be sure to pay very close attention to the weather in the other city because you will be constructing your Venn diagram based on that information.”
  • Read the information and put up the Venn diagram. Discuss the similarities in the selected city in relation to the weather in your area. As a group, label the responses on the chart. Then look at the weather characteristics of the two places and complete the chart.
  • Closure: “We will discuss the comparisons and the similarities and differences of the two communities. How do people change when the weather changes in their community? How do you feel when the weather changes? What is your favorite kind of weather? Why?”

Day 3

  • Independent Practice: Have small groups of students select two cities in different parts of the state, country, or world to compare and contrast. Have each group fill out a Venn diagram comparing and contrasting the two cities. Post the charts on the classroom wall, or have groups present their charts to the whole class.
  • Possible extension: Read the story Cloudy with a Chance of Meatballs. Write what it would be like to live in Chewsandswallow.


  • Day 1: Partners correctly fill out Venn diagram chart comparing two objects.
  • Day 2: Class correctly fills out Venn diagram chart comparing weather in two cities.
  • Day 3: Groups independently fill out Venn diagram comparing weather in two cities in different regions of the state, country, or world.

  • Common Core State Standards
    • English Language Arts (2010)
      • Speaking & Listening

        • Grade 2
          • 2.SL.3 Ask and answer questions about what a speaker says in order to clarify comprehension, gather additional information, or deepen understanding of a topic or issue.

  • North Carolina Essential Standards
    • Science (2010)
      • Grade 2

        • 2.E.1 Understand patterns of weather and factors that affect weather. 2.E.1.1 Summarize how energy from the sun serves as a source of light that warms the land, air and water. 2.E.1.2 Summarize weather conditions using qualitative and quantitative measures...

North Carolina curriculum alignment

English Language Arts (2004)

Grade 2

  • Goal 2: The learner will develop and apply strategies and skills to comprehend text that is read, heard, and viewed.
    • Objective 2.03: Read expository materials for answers to specific questions.
    • Objective 2.07: Discuss similarities and differences in events, characters and concepts within and across texts.

Science (2005)

Grade 2

  • Goal 2: The learner will conduct investigations and use appropriate tools to build an understanding of the changes in weather.
    • Objective 2.06: Observe and record weather changes over time and relate to time of day and time of year.