This worksheet supports Common Core State Standards ELA-Literacy.RL.6.9 and ELA-Literacy.RI.6.9

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Compare and Contrast (Grade 6)

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Compare and Contrast

Science fiction novels and movies often make it look as if moving from Earth to Mars would not be terribly difficult. After all, the planets are quite similar, correct?

They both have deep canyons, large volcanoes, and ice-covered polar caps. A day on Mars is only slightly longer than a day on Earth. The angle each planet tilts towards the sun is almost the same, so each planet has different seasons over the course of the year. Does this mean humans could soon climb on a space ship, fly to the red planet and call it home? Would it be easy for them to adapt to living on Mars? Not really!

Mars is much smaller than Earth, so there would probably be too little space to fit everyone there. It is almost much, much colder on Mars. The average temperature on the surface is 81 degrees below zero! This makes it impossible for there to be running water or living plants. Even if people could find special space suits to keep them warm enough, they would never be able to go outside and take a breath. The air on Mars is made up almost entirely of the gas carbon dioxide. This is poisonous to humans.

Life on other planets might be possible one day. Until then, it will have to remain a part of science fiction stories and, perhaps, some very exciting dreams!
How are Mars and Earth alike?
  1. They both have large amounts of carbon dioxide.
  2. They both have days that last roughly 24 hours.
  3. They both are equally distant to the sun.
  4. They both are easy for humans to live on.
What are you likely to find only on Earth and not Mars?
  1. A lake
  2. A canyon
  3. A volcano
  4. A polar cap
How does weather on Mars differ from that on Earth?
  1. It is far wetter there with frequent, intense storms.
  2. It stays the same basic season year round.
  3. It is blisteringly hot for nine months of the year.
  4. It is far colder with an average temperature below zero.
For the last three weeks, my Aunt Sheila has been giving me cooking lessons. I have learned a great deal about how to tell when a cake is done, how to stir gravy so it is not lumpy, and how to peel the skin off potatoes. Today's lesson was on fruits and vegetables.

"All right, Tabitha," said Aunt Sheila. "Put the vegetables on the left side of the kitchen table, and the fruits on the right."

This one was going to be easy, I thought, quickly placing the apple, orange and banana on the right. The green pepper, tomato, cucumber, and carrot went on the left. I hesitated a moment over the eggplant, but finally added it to the vegetables.

"Good job," said Aunt Sheila. "The apple, orange, and banana are all fruit. However," she said, pausing to grin at me, "everything you put in the vegetable pile is also fruit-except for the carrot."

"What!" I exclaimed. "Peppers, tomatoes, cucumbers, and eggplant are not fruit. They are not sweet, and are never served as snacks or desserts."

Aunt Sheila laughed. "Remember that technically, a fruit is a part of the plant that develops from a flower, and it contains the seeds. If you look at peppers, tomatoes, and cucumbers, you can see they all fit that description. Vegetables, on the other hand, are the stems, leaves, or roots of a plant, such as celery, lettuce or carrots. Can you guess the one thing they all have in common, Tabby?"

I thought for a moment and then smiled because this one actually was easy. "They are both healthy and nutritious," I stated.

"You get an 'A' in nutrition class today—and here is your prize," replied Aunt Sheila, handing me an apple.
What factor do fruits and vegetables share?
  1. They both contain large seeds.
  2. They both are sweet to the taste.
  3. They both have large green leaves.
  4. They both contain minerals and vitamins.
What makes fruits and vegetables different?
  1. Which part of the plant they came from
  2. How often they are used as snacks
  3. When they are picked during the summer
  4. What recipes they are ingredients in
Vegetables are typically the...
  1. petals or flowers of the plant.
  2. stems, leaves, or roots of the plant.
  3. central seed of the plant.
  4. branches or trunk of the plant.

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