Venn Diagram

Set diagram

UDL 3.2 UDL 5.2

A Venn Diagram is a chart that contains two or three overlapping circles that students can use to compare and contrast topics in a logical and organized manner. When completing Venn Diagrams, the overlapping region is typically used to record similarities between concepts, while differences are listed in the outer circles. As with other graphic organizers, a Venn Diagram is a strategic way to represent complex relationships and abstract ideas visually. This tool is a powerful way to support students in making connections between topics, determining key ideas, and distinguishing facts. Venn Diagrams can be used across content areas for brainstorming, note-taking, pre-writing exercises, and assessment.

Ready-to-Use Resources

Graphic Organizer

2-Circle Venn Diagrams

A set of printable Venn Diagrams for use across all grade levels and content areas. Diagrams are available in both full page and half-sheet sizes.

Grade K, 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, 11, 12 · Reading, Writing · 3 pages

Graphic Organizer

3-Circle Venn Diagram

A three-circle venn diagram for more advanced comparisons to use for all content areas.

Grade 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, 11, 12 · Reading, Writing · 1 pages

Implementation Tips

Explain and model how to use a Venn Diagram using terms that students can easily relate to (e.g., lower grades: comparing cats and dogs; upper grades: comparing urban, suburban and rural communities). This can help support the use of Venn Diagrams for developmentally appropriate purposes
Incorporate multi-colored Venn Diagrams to support visual learners (e.g., different colors for each circle of the Venn diagram, a slightly shaded center to highlight similarities, etc.)
Space for Writing
Modify available writing space by providing enlarged Venn Diagram charts for students that need more space tor record their ideas.
Picture Support
Offer students that demonstrate difficulty generating written ideas the option to draw images to represent their thinking on a Venn Diagram. Students can also cut and paste images from magazines to Venn Diagrams.
Writing Support
Type and print statements related to previously studied concepts on strips of paper. Students can then read the strips and paste them to the appropriate section of a Venn Diagram. A teacher can use this to support students who struggle with writing, or as a way to save time while assessing student understanding of given concepts.
Interactive Venn Diagrams
Engage students by creating larger Venn Diagrams that students can manipulate (e.g., taped circles on the ground, overlapping hula hoops). A teacher can also provide realia, pictures, or ideas written on sentence strips and ask students to generate their own ideas about the similarities and differences between the two topics. For an online option, check out this [[|Interactive Venn Diagram]] from ReadWriteThink.


Character Analysis
A teacher asks students to compare and contrast the characters Maleeka Madison and Charlese Jones in The Skin That I’m In by Sharon Flake. The class starts by creating a Venn Diagram together and then students work in partnerships or small groups to generate ideas with supporting text evidence about each character’s traits and actions. Each group posts their completed Venn Diagrams around the classroom and students participate in a Gallery Walk to explore each other’s ideas. The Venn Diagrams can also provide the teacher with formative assessments of students’ understanding.
At the beginning of a unit of study about China and Brazil the teacher invites students to use a Venn Diagram to compare and contrast cultural factors of each country (e.g., religion, cuisine, geography, etc.). In addition to writing details about each country, students cut out images from magazines to include on their Venn Diagrams. Throughout the unit, students add to their charts to record new information learned.
Problem Solving and Assessment
Instead of giving a quiz on multiplication facts, a teacher asks students to list the multiples of three and the multiples of five on a Venn Diagram. Students demonstrate their understanding by listing the multiples for each number within their appropriate circle and including their shared multiples in the middle (e.g., 15 and 30). The teacher then asks students to write a brief response describing the patterns they notice among the shared multiples.

Related Strategies