T-Chart

Description

The T-Chart teaching strategy involves a simple graphic organizer. It is an effective way for students to compare and contrast two ideas.

Instructions

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Paper with the word "Title" at the top and two lines in the shape of a "T" below it.
  1. Ask students to draw a T-Chart. (See image for example.)
  2. Have students write down two opposing ideas, one for each column. The choices for headings on a T-Chart are virtually limitless. Consider using some of the following ideas: Pros versus Cons, Positive Consequences versus Negative Consequences, Fact versus Opinion, Similarities versus Differences, Wants versus Needs, or Looks Like versus Feels Like. T-Charts can be completed individually, in small groups, or as a class.
  3. The information from T-Charts can be used in many ways. Students may submit “a decision” they made based on the thinking they captured in a T-Chart. They may write a reflective journal entry describing and explaining which side of the T-Chart contains more ideas they endorse.

Important Considerations

As a standard T-chart only supports two opposing ideas, some students may have difficulty with this rigid structure, since it offers no grey zone or middle ground. Because some ideas may fit in both sides, permit students to provide explanations to justify.