This worksheet supports Common Core State Standard CCSS.ELA-Literacy.RL.11-12.9

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Compare and Contrast - Fiction (Grades 11-12)

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Compare and Contrast - Fiction

Tabitha opened the newspaper and spread it across the length of the kitchen table in what had become a morning routine. Job searching was not necessarily pleasant, but it was almost mandatory at this point. Despite the bleak unemployment rate in her city, Tabitha was determined to get a jump on finding a part-time summer job, so she spent each morning reading through columns of classified ads. All of her friends did their job searching online, so Tabitha hoped that by going the old-fashioned route, she might find hidden opportunities.

As she read through ads and considered the responsibilities, paycheck and hours that went with each potential job, she could not help but think about the advice her Aunt Sarah had given her last week.

"Stop perusing those newspaper ads," she had recommended, "and just go into business for yourself. You are an incredible musician and you could make a decent amount by spending your summer teaching other kids how to play the piano or the guitar."

Tabitha had to admit the idea of self-employment had its appeal. She spent a lot of time weighing the pros and cons of having her own business opposed to working for someone else. If she spent the summer teaching music lessons, she could largely determine her daily schedule, charge the rates she deemed appropriate, wear regular clothes instead of a uniform, and take on as many -”or as few- students as she wanted. On the other hand, having a regular job meant a regular paycheck, rather than one that might vary significantly depending on the number of students she might - or might not -get. Making the choice between the two options was challenging, but Tabitha had to admit that not looking through the ads every morning would be a definite pro!
Which benefit do both types of work share?
  1. They would allow Tabitha to practice her music skills.
  2. They would not require Tabitha to wear a uniform.
  3. They would provide Tabitha with more free time.
  4. They would put an end to reading the want ads.
What is one of the main reasons Tabitha is worried about teaching music?
  1. Not finding enough students
  2. Not getting a regular paycheck
  3. Not having enough free time over the summer
  4. Not being able to set her own daily schedule
What issue is this story comparing?
  1. Whether or not to get a summer job
  2. Whether online ads or newspaper ads are more effective
  3. Whether it is better work for someone or be self-employed
  4. Whether it is more fun to play the piano or the guitar
Recently, I was invited to travel to the Pacific Northwest and spend several weeks visiting my Aunt Christina and Uncle Samuel, native Oregonians, so, for days, I contemplated the best method of transportation: passenger train or jet plane. I compared a number of relevant factors, including travel time, ticket prices, and general comfort. After compiling the information, I gave a great deal of thought to the overall travel experience itself since I would be traveling across the entire breadth of the country, literally journeying from the east coast to the west. It was thousands of miles, mostly into parts of the nation I had never seen before, so I wanted to make a wise, educated decision.

The airplane was certainly the faster of the two choices, as it would take only four hours for me to traverse the length of the country if flying, while the train would take me four days. Not surprisingly, this shorter trip also meant the tickets to fly cost substantially less than those to ride. Both the plane and train were comfortable; they had plush seats and head rests, but at least on the train, if I got restless or tired of the trip, I could easily get up and walk around. Instead of a typical bag of peanuts and an expensive beverage, trains also offered dining cars with full, delicious meals.

Perhaps the biggest factor contributing to my final decision, however, was the vast panorama of scenery I would see passing by outside the train window, as compared to the view from the airplane. While I was eager to experience every element of the Pacific Northwest my relatives wanted to share with me, I was equally enthusiastic about observing the various terrains between the two coasts, including mountain ranges, coast lines, and forests full of pine trees. The debate finally came to an end; I was taking the train across the country so it was time for “All aboard!”
What travel factor did both methods of transportation share?
  1. The food offered during the journey
  2. The time spent during travel
  3. The opportunity to see the country
  4. The cost of the tickets
What factor convinced the narrator to choose the train?
  1. The length of the journey
  2. The scenery during the trip
  3. The comfort of the ride
  4. The time spent in travel
Which question was the narrator of the story trying to answer?
  1. How long does it take to cross from one coast to the other?
  2. What are the best things to do while in the Pacific Northwest?
  3. What is the best way to travel across the entire country?
  4. Why do people tend to take planes more often than trains?

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