Teaching Compare and Contrast with Songs

Teaching Compare and Contrast with Songs

If you wish to wake up students a bit and get them to participate in class, try using songs. Songs are a great way to teach a large number of Common Core skills. Right away, you’re probably thinking that you can teach figurative language and other poetic elements; however, you can do much more. Teaching the skill Compare and Contrast with Songs can be a fun and a memorial experience for your students.

This handout contains all the song titles listed in this series of posts. It also has a series of printable organizers for students to use with the songs.

Get the handout for this Compare and Contrast post with a song list and printable organizers.

Compare and Contrast Let it Go vs. Towards the Sun

Let it Go appears on the soundtrack for Disney’s animated film Frozen. Elsa sings the song when she leaves the kingdom of Arendelle and creates her own ice palace.

Rihanna recorded Towards the Sun for the animated movie Home. The song speaks of not letting fear get in the way.

Compare and Contrast When You Wish Upon a Star vs. Somewhere Out There

When You Wish Upon a Star comes from Walt Disney’s 1940 adaptation of Pinocchio. Jiminy Cricket sings the song at the beginning and the end of the movie. The song talks about how dreams come true. Pinocchio, a wooden doll, wishes to be a real boy.

Somewhere Out There was featured in the 1986 film An American Tail. In this movie, a brother and sister, Fievel and Tanya Mousekewitz, sing about the love they share.

Both songs speak of wishing on stars.

Compare and Contrast Hakuna Matata vs. Don’t Worry Be Happy

Hakuna Matata, written by Elton John and Tim Rice, was featured in the 1994 Walt Disney animated movie The Lion King. The phrase Hakuna Matata is Swahili meaning “no worries.”  In the movie, Timon and Pumbaa want to teach Simba to forget his troubled past and live in the present. 

Don’t Worry, Be Happy became a hit song in 1988 by Bobby McFerrin. The phrase comes from the Indian guru Meher Baba. The song appeared in the movies Cocktail (1988) and Casper – A Spirited Beginning (1997). George H.W. Bush used the song in his 1988 U.S. Presidential Election. Mattress Firm even made a commercial featuring this song.

Compare and Contrast Rise Up vs. Shake It Off

Rise Up was sung by Beyoncé in the animated movie Epic. The song speaks of standing up for yourself. Beyoncé voices the character Queen Tara in the movie who is trying to save her world from the evil Boggan leader.

Taylor Swift says the song Shake it Off was her way of dealing with some of her critics. She wanted to overcome her fear of bad press. In the video, Swift dances with professional dancers. She awkwardly tries to keep up. Swift says she wanted the video to spread the message that it is okay to be different.

Compare and Contrast Roar vs. Eye of the Tiger

Katy Perry’s song Roar encourages people to be strong and stand up. The word roar is used 16 times during the song to emphasize the power.

Eye of the Tiger was the theme song to Rocky III. In the movie, the song contrasted scenes between the two fighters. Mr. T trains hard to become the boxing champion of the world. In contrast, Rocky Balboa shoots commercials. He slacks off in his training program. The song shows that Rocky needs to get back his hunger to be the champ.

Both songs emphasize using empowerment.

Compare and Contrast using Songs


Get the handout for this Compare and Contrast post with a song list and printable organizers.



Check out the other posts in this series by clicking on the buttons below.

Teaching Compare and Contrast with Songs
Teaching Sequencing with Songs


Teaching Cause and Effect with Songs
Teaching Problems and Solutions with Songs



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1 comment

    • Kimberley on November 1, 2017 at 4:19 am

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    Keep up the great writing.

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