# Using Venn Diagrams with Books

Using Venn diagrams with books is a terrific way to help children think about and record concepts in a visual manner.

We've been experimenting with Venn diagrams and found that they're a fun way to organise information, especially when it comes to comparing books.

## Two Ways of Using Venn Diagrams with Books

Here are two ways we used Venn diagrams with books:

• Firstly, we looked at the similarities and differences between different characters/animals in the story.
• Secondly, we compared the book and the film versions of the same story.

## Stellaluna Venn Diagrams: Similarities and Differences

If you haven't read the fictional picture book, Stellaluna, written by Janell Cannon, you're in for a treat! Stellaluna is a baby fruit bat, who, after being separated from her mother, ends up living with three baby birds. She quickly has to lose her bat ways and live like a bird.

The story Stellaluna provides a wonderful opportunity to compare the similarities and differences between bats and birds and this is where the Venn diagrams came in very useful.

We started by drawing two large circles on an A3 piece of paper so that the circles overlapped. One circle was labelled "Bats" and the other "Birds". You are welcome to download an A3 printable of this Venn diagram from here.

Using what we learnt from the book, as well as researching information via an internet search engine, we then listed the differences and similarities between bats and birds. The similarities were written in the overlapping section of the circles (e.g., both bats and birds fly) while the differences were written in the appropriate circles for each creature (e.g., bats - fly at night/ birds - fly during the day).

As we talked, we discovered that the differences/similarities varied when different species of bats and birds were considered. For example, owls are birds but they fly at night. This just goes to prove that some things don't fit neatly into boxes (or circles) even though we want them to ... a valuable life lesson! There always seems to be the exception. :o

## How to Train Your Dragon Venn Diagrams: Comparison

Our next adventure using Venn diagrams with books involved comparing a book and film version of the same story.

Our boys love the movie, "How To Train Your Dragon" which are loosely based on the series of books written by Cressida Cowell.

After watching the movie, we started reading the books and found, much to our surprise, that they were very different indeed. A perfect opportunity to use Venn diagrams for the purpose of comparison.

We drew two large overlapping circles - one for the movie and one for the books and proceeded to list the similarities and differences between the movie and the book.

Venn diagrams encourage children to think about concepts, identify and record ideas/facts and to organise information logically ... all of which are valuable skills.