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Marzano's top instructional strategy for improving student learning is 'Similarities & Differences'. A Venn Diagram is a graphical way to illustrate similarities and differences.
Wolfram Alpha
At this simple website, you can type in the names of 2 people, separated by a comma and you'll get a chart like the one below. Students can then use the information to create a Venn diagram comparing the 2 people. Information from other sites can also be added to the Venn diagram. In this comparison, it is clear to see that John Adams and Thomas Jefferson, both authors of the Declaration of Independence, died on the same day. Ironically, they died on the 4th of July.
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Wolfram Alpha not only compares people but events, objects, and other things. Enter Hurricane Rita and Hurricane Irene to compare 2 hurricanes that hit the United States. Then create a Venn diagram mixed with other facts on the hurricanes to compare and contrast the 2 hurricanes.


Using Pages to Create a Venn Diagram
  • Choose a blank page under Page Layout (do NOT choose Word Processing as you do not have as much freedom to work with images or shapes)
  • Go to File/Page Setup and change the orientation to landscape.
  • Under the shapes icon, choose a circle. Make the circle a little less than half the page. Hint: hold the shift key down while you are dragging the handles of the circle in order to keep a circle, otherwise you'll end up with an oval.
  • Highlight the circle. In the Inspector under the graphic icon (shapes), change the fill to none.
  • To make a duplicate circle, hold down the option key and drag your circle. This little trick works in many applications.
  • Move the second circle so that it overlaps the first circle. Remember that text will be in the middle area so make sure you leave enough room.
  • Click on the Text Tool to add text to your Venn diagram.
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