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Similarities and Differences

Similarities and Differences

When we read a text we are constantly (and often subconsciously) making associations between what we are reading or seeing and other other things we have read/seen/heard/watched. Or, to put that another way, we are drawing on our prior learning. We can encourage pupils to develop this skill by helping them to make those links explicit and explore those aspects of the text which are most likely to elicit the comparisons.

Another kind of prior learning can come from our own culture. This isn’t just about where we are from geographically - we can be talking about the experiences gained through our gender, age, profession, hobbies, family, upbringing, education, nationality, ethnicity, sexuality, political or religious beliefs…

When we expose ourselves to other cultures we can examine the shared and different experiences we have – and maybe find that we have more in common than we think! It is also important to explore the notion that, while viewing the text will often be a shared experience, our reactions to it may be quite different, depending on the associations we make.

still from the most beautiful man in the world

Some questions to get you started

  • Does this remind you of anything you have read/seen/heard before? How are they similar? How are they different?
  • Does this remind you of anything in your own life? How did/would you behave/react in similar circumstances?
  • Is there a character/setting/event in the film that you can really relate to?
  • Did you see anything that is different to your life in some way?
  • Did the film meet your expectations? In what way?
  • Did anything in the film surprise you? In what way?
  • Can you find any similarities with something in the film that seems very different to your life/experiences?
  • Did anything in the film change your opinion on a previously-held belief?