Grade: Elementary
Subject: Literature

#969. Venn diagrams with the Pain and The Great One

Literature, level: Elementary
Posted Tue Apr 13 09:45:40 PDT 1999 by Bethany Lutwin (
R.G. Jones Elementary, Cleveland, Ohio
Materials Required: The Pain and the Great One by Judy Blume
Activity Time: appx 45 minutes
Concepts Taught: Comparing and Contrasting

Goals: Using a Venn diagram, the student will understand the skill of comparing and contrasting.
Objective: Using a Venn diagram, the student will recognize similarities and differences in th story with 100% accuracy.
Set Induction: Draw a large version of a Venn diagram on the board. Then hold up a pencil and a piece of chalk and have the students identify the similarites and differences between the two. Explain that any items can have similarities and differences and tell the students that they will compare and contrast two characters from the book.
Development: By looking at the cover, ask the students who they think the Pain is and who the Great One is. The students will hear the story, (it may help to have several copies of the book so the students can pair up and read along). When the story is finished, the students will pair up and draw a Venn diagram. The left is labelled "Pain" and the right is labelled "Great One". For the next 10 - 15 minutes, the students will work in their pairs and fill in their diagrams with the similarities and differences between the two characters. Walk around the room to make sure the students stay on task.
Questions: These can be some questions for the students who stray: What can you tell me about the Pain? How does the sister feel about the Pain? Tell me some things that help us know the Pain. Can anyone relate to the Great One? Write the characteristics on the side that says "Pain". Look at the Great One. Do you think there are some things that the Great One can do that the Pain cannot? How do they treat each other? Do you think they hate each other? Does anyone think that they may like or need each other? How do you know that? Do you think the parents love one more than the other?
After the students are winding up, draw another Venn diagram on the board and have the students submit their ideas about the Pain and the Great One and fill in the diagram on the board. Everytime I do this, the circles are never large enough. If time is a factor, students can just read out their ideas without writing them on the board.
Closure: To wrap up the lesson, I ask the students if they can identify with either of the characters. Of course all hands fly up and they are anxious to share their stories. There is another book called Now I Will Never Leave the Dinner Table, (I think the author is Judy Martin, don't quote me) that the students can compare and contrast the characters of the story or the entire story all together.
Reflective Self Evaluation: Was the lesson interesting? Did the students understand and apply the Venn diagram accurately? Were the students that anything can be compared and contrasted? Did they like the story?