This worksheet supports Common Core State Standard CCSS.ELA-Literacy.RL.5.9 and CCSS.ELA-Literacy.RI.5.9

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Compare and Contrast (Grade 5)

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Compare and Contrast

Have you ever heard someone say, "See you later, alligator?" Often the response is, "In a while, crocodile." Both of these silly rhymes are funny. However, the funniest part may be that alligators and crocodiles are almost never found living in the same place. It is easy to confuse the two reptiles. They both look a lot alike. However, they are very different creatures.

First, the two animals live in different types of habitats. Crocodiles like salt water like the water found in oceans. They live in almost all parts of the world. Alligators, on the other hand, prefer the fresh water of lakes and swamps. Most live in the United States and China. The only place in the world where both types of reptiles are found is in the Everglades. This national park is a wetland containing both types of water.

Second, the noses of these reptiles are quite different. Crocodiles have long, narrow, pointed snouts that made a V-shape. They look like they are smiling, and showing some of their teeth. Their jaws are extremely strong and they can capture tough snacks like turtles, cows, or even small elephants. Alligators have U-shaped snouts and their teeth stay hidden until they are ready to take a bite of something tasty. They prefer to munch on smaller prey, including birds, fish or deer.

If you are trying to tell the difference between these two reptiles, do it from behind the thick glass of zoo window. One thing the two creatures do have in common is they are strong and they are not afraid to attack humans if they feel threatened.
How are alligators and crocodiles alike?
  1. They both prefer to live in salt water.
  2. They both capture very large animals to eat.
  3. They both can be found living in the Everglades.
  4. They both have the same shape of snout and teeth.
Where would you most likely find a crocodile?
  1. In a lake
  2. In a swamp
  3. In an ocean
  4. In a marsh
How does an alligator differ from a crocodile?
  1. It keeps its teeth hidden until it strikes.
  2. It prefers larger, tougher prey for meals.
  3. It will attack a human if it feels threatened.
  4. It has a longer, narrower snout shaped like a V.
Katherine looked around her and frowned. Everywhere she looked there were bright flowers and green leaves. The garden was so beautiful at this time of year. From the red of the roses to the yellow of the dandelions, it was like looking at a rainbow on the ground.

As much as she loved all of the colors, Katherine was confused. Grandpa George had asked her to pull any weeds she found. He had given her a bucket and some gloves and then gone back to filling the birdfeeders. Katherine wanted to help, but she could not tell which plants were flowers and which ones were weeds since they all looked the same to her.

When she asked Grandpa George to explain the difference between the plants, he started laughing. "Gardeners have asked that question for years," he said. "Here is how I define it. Flowers are the plants I want in the garden. I carefully planted the seeds with my hands. I covered them with soil, and watered them so they would grow. Weeds are the plants I did not invite! They just showed up, thanks to the wind or birds, and those keep growing, no matter what I do."

Katherine giggled at the idea of seeds coming into a garden without an invitation, but then she frowned again. "So, which ones should I pick?" she asked. Grandpa George paused a moment and then said, "Oh heck, let's forget about weeding and make a bouquet for Grandma instead." Katherine thought that was best gardening idea she had ever heard.
What two things is this story comparing?
  1. Flowers and weeds
  2. Seeds and plants
  3. Gardens and soil
  4. Roses and dandelions
Why was Katherine confused about the job she was given?
  1. There were no weeds in the garden.
  2. She did not understand her Grandpa's directions.
  3. There were too many plants for her to choose from.
  4. She was not sure what she was supposed to pick and what she was not.
Which statement about this story is most accurate?
  1. Grandma likes bouquets of dandelions the most.
  2. Some plants need more care to grow than others.
  3. Gardening takes a great deal of skill and time to do.
  4. It is important to spend time outside in nature.

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