Winter Break Brainpower–Week 2!

Happy Friday, Thinkspiration readers!

Elizabeth Fishel (author of I Swore I’d Never Do That!) tells us that “Comparison is a death knell to sibling harmony.”

That may be true for brothers and sisters, but comparing and contrasting is a huge part of the new Common Core State Standards–and of course an important learning skill. To that end, our iPad Template Tuesday this week featured the Inspiration Maps “Book or Film Comparison” Template. Take a look:

Template for the iPad by Inspiration Software

In school, this template can help your child:

  • Compare two books or two films by looking at differences and similarities;
  • Go beyond traditional plot comparisons to consider the tone, themes and characters of each work; and
  • Show subtopics, quotes and key information to support his or her analysis.

But what about harnessing the power of comparison while on vacation? Many families have traditions of watching certain movies around this time of year, so why not make it a double feature and pull out this template after the last credits roll? For younger children this can be a great way for them to recap what they’ve seen in their own words. After all, research suggests that one of the best ways to stimulate the brain is through story-telling.

For older kids, this template provides a base for in-depth insights and nuances of note. In what ways does Scrooge change over the course of A Muppets Christmas Carol, and how does that compare to the journey George Bailey undertakes in It’s A Wonderful Life? What do the Grinch and Charlie Brown have in common? And just what DO ogres do for the holidays, anyway? (Watch Shrek the Halls if you’re curious.)

Whether it’s Home Alone or Miracle on 34th Street, holiday movies are an excellent way to gather your family together. . .but they’re also perfect for gathering your kids’ thoughts!

With only 11 shopping days until Christmas, there’s never been a better time to give the gift of graphic organizing. Head over to the App store and download Inspiration Maps for just $9.99!

FOR TEACHERS: If this looks like a good tool for when your kids are back in class–and you’re looking for lesson plans–visit and scroll down to “English Language Arts.” When you click on “Comparison Analysis,” you’ll download a lesson plan as well as a completed example template. Happy Teaching!

Signing off from Inspiration HQ,

Stephanie H.

Social Media Specialist for Inspiration since 11/12. Loves STEM, environmental education, visual learning and all things related to people overcoming challenges!
View all posts by InspirationSMS

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