Compare/Contrast Peaceful Ways Essay

“My Best Friend & I”

This lesson both helps a child see his/her strengths as well as those in others to create greater understanding and empathy.

Objective: The learner will practice compare & contrast writing by creating an essay about how one is like and different from his/her best friend.

Materials: Paper, pencils, white board or electronic whiteboard, lists of compare and contrast vocabulary.


  • Go over the parts of a paragraph:
    1. Topic Sentence: Tells what the entire paragraph is about.
    2. Supporting Details: Sentences that support/prove the topic.
    3. Conclusion: a creative sentence at the end that adds up all ideas.
  • Tell the students that they are going to write a special kind of paragraph, called Compare and Contrast which shows how two things are the same and different.
  • Display lists of compare/contrast vocabulary. (See below.)
  • Tell the students that they are going to write their own compare/contrast paragraph comparing themselves to a best friend. If desired the following Venn diagram could be used:


  • List of compare/contrast words and phrases for board: different, same, similar to, in comparison, in contrast, in common, one difference, on the other hand, however, thus.
  • Go over how to begin multi-paragraph essays with an opening paragraph with a thesis statement, body paragraphs with topic sentences and supporting details, and a closing paragraph with a conclusion.
  • Use the graphic organizer to guide students to write an essay. A sample frame might be as follows:Are you like your best friend? Have you ever compared and contrasted yourself with your best friend? Do you like finding the similarities and differences with him/her?

    My best friend _______ and I are both alike and different in many ways. _______ and I have many things in common. We both _______. In addition, we share the characteristic of _______. He/she enjoys _______, just like me.

    My best friend and I have contrasts, too. On one hand, _______ likes _______, but I enjoy _______. Another difference is that I _______, but _______ does not. Lots of people notice how they are the same and different from their best friends. Although _______ and I share some things but not others, we both love to hang out. It is awesome being his/her friend.

  • Students write essay, remembering to indent, capitalize, and put in end punctuation.

Evaluation: Were students able to complete the essay with correct compare/contrast vocabulary?

Follow up: This could be done comparing any two people or characters from stories read.