What is the best way to get student's to understand similarities and differences?

I am fairly new to the teaching industry and I have seen that there are several students who have trouble recognizing and comprehending similarities and differences.  What would be the best approach for me to assist them with this concept? 

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Alot would depend on how old your students are.  However, visuals, I think, would be the best way.  For example, comparing skin, or hair color, hair length, height, etc or colors using different shades of a color for the similarities.  Also, it you want them to compare/contrast multipule things, use...sorry I can't bring to mind what they are called...the math circles?  where you over lap the circles?  one circle could be similar, one different, and the center overlap circle would be exactly the same.  Then have different things to compare and have the students decide which circle they fit in and explain why they think so.

Thank you for the great information.  The venn diagram would be a great way from children to identify similarities and differences.  I am wanting to integrate more technology into the picture of similarities and differences.  Are you aware of any type of computer software that is availabe to do venn diagrams easily? 

not right off the top of my head.  I am new to all the technology stuff.  I am inrolled in an educational technology master program and we are currently joining this ning for class.  I will ask the other students and see if any of them can suggest something.
Are you a member of the Educational Technology group?  Did you post this question there?
sorry, it is called Instructional Technology
No I am not.  I will have to check that out.  Thanks a bunch!

 

Bridget, This site was on my diigo 2.0 email this morning.  http://sites.google.com/site/uteachwithtechnology/google-templates

 

Down toward the bottom, are compare contrast templates the kids can use on Google Docs.  You and the kids would need accounts but they are free.

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