Students used the Venn Diagram app to compare and contrast during Reading Workshop. This is a free app (also on the web) by Read Write Think.
It works relatively the same as a paper venn diagram but students have many more options to customize their venn diagrams. Since comparing and contrasting figures heavily into the Common Core curriculum, having an app that is easy to use, free, AND that students can use independently during Reading Workshop is awesome!
After opening the app and making an avatar – which they REALLY liked – students can choose how many sorting circles and how many labels to place into the circle. They also can add notes to each label although that will not display on the finished diagram. Labels can also be placed outside the circles for items that do not belong to either category.
When finished students can save their Venn Diagrams as an image to the camera roll for easy sharing and uploading to blogs. Any notes will save as an additional image. Younger students can also take a screen shot since the saving process can be a little confusing.
This is one of many examples of where the technology is better than the “old” way – my students always had trouble getting their writing to fit in the space of a paper venn diagram. Since they can change the size of the text, they can adjust the sizing for each of the labels so they fit!
To help students use the app independently, I created directions and visual models that can be used with any book read.