EL Support Lesson

Distinguish Between Facts and Opinions

Teach your students the difference between facts and opinions, and why an author would choose to use each type of information. This can stand-alone or be used as a pre-lesson for the *Exploring Author's Purpose and Point of View* lesson.
This lesson can be used as a pre-lesson for the Exploring Author's Purpose and Point of View lesson plan.
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This lesson can be used as a pre-lesson for the Exploring Author's Purpose and Point of View lesson plan.

Students will be able to identify the author's purpose and point of view in a short text.


Students will be able to distinguish between fact and opinion with specific vocabulary using a graphic organizer.

(3 minutes)
  • Prompt students to discuss a topic that will get them talking, like cheetahs, homework, or pizza, with a partner. Listen closely to the comments made, and jot down an example of a fact and an opinion that was mentioned.
  • Share the observations and point out that you heard two different types of information being discussed. One type is a fact, which is something that is known to be true. The other type is an opinion, which is a belief, or what you think about a topic.
  • Go over the learning objective for today's lesson, and explain to the class that the goal of the lesson is to know the difference between facts and opinions in text.
(10 minutes)
  • Introduce the specific vocabulary for today's lesson by displaying the Vocabulary Cards. Go over each word by reading aloud the word and definition, and giving an example.
  • Distribute a copy of the Glossary worksheet to each student and have them label the last column as Example. Instruct students to work with a partner to draw a picture to represent each definition and then provide an example.
  • Call on students to share their example with the class. Provide a sentence stem for students to use, such as: "An example of this word is ____."
  • Display the completed Frayer Model for the word purpose and go over the information in each section of the graphic organizer. Tell students that they will be completing a Frayer Model for one of the two main vocabulary words for today's lesson.
  • Assign students a word, fact or opinion, to explore using reference materials. Give each student a copy of the Frayer Model worksheet and give them time to complete it.
  • Create partnerships with one student who studied fact and one student who studied opinion. Instruct them to share their graphic organizers and teach each other about the key vocabulary term. Go over the information as a class.
(12 minutes)
  • Tell students that they are going to read two short passages and identify each as fact or opinion. Then, they will use a graphic organizer to record an explanation of how they know each passage is a fact or an opinion.
  • Distribute a copy of the Be a Detective: Fact or Opinion? worksheet to each student. Read aloud the first passage and engage the class in a discussion about its classification as fact or opinion. Facilitate a Think-Pair-Share, and provide clarification and feedback as needed. Remind students about the definitions of fact and opinion. For example, "The use of numbers and dates mean that it is likely to be a fact. If a sentence uses words like good/better/best, it is likely to be an opinion."
  • Put students into partnerships and instruct them to read aloud the second passage together and classify it as fact or opinion. Check in with the class after, and offer any clarification.
  • Hand out the Text-Based Fact or Opinion graphic organizer to each student and model how to pick out a sentence from each passage to place into the graphic organizer. Model thinking aloud about how you know each sentence should be identified as a fact or opinion, and record those thoughts in the bottom of the graphic organizer. For example:
    • From passage 1, use the sentence, "First, you need to add 2 cups flour, ½ cup sugar, 2 cups chocolate chips, 2 eggs, 1 teaspoon salt and 1 teaspoon vanilla to a mixing bowl." Explain that this sentence uses specific measurements. This information could be found in a cookbook and proven to be correct, so this is a fact.
    • From passage 2, use the sentence, "My mom’s cookies are the best in town!" Explain that this sentence uses the word best, which is a clue that this is someone's opinion. Even though this author thinks they are the best in town, someone else may have a different feeling about the cookies.
  • Instruct partnerships to choose a different sentence from each passage to use as they complete their graphic organizers. Scramble partnerships and have them share their answers with a different classmate. Then, share out as a class.
(6 minutes)
  • Put students into small groups and give each group an envelope with sentence strips in them from the Fact or Opinion? #1 and Fact or Opinion? #2 worksheets.
  • Instruct groups to sort the sentences into two categories, fact or opinion. Call on nonvolunteers in each group to share out with the class. Ask students to give a thumbs up if they agree with the classification, or a thumbs down if they disagree. Allow time for discussion as needed.


  • Allow students to work with a partner to complete the Frayer Model worksheet, or provide a partially completed graphic organizer for them.
  • Provide sentence frames for students to use as they share their Frayer Models in partnerships.
  • Display sentence stems for discussion during the Discourse Level section, such as:
    • I know it is fact because ____.
    • I know it is opinion because ____.
  • Allow students access to reference materials in L1 or English in order to define unfamiliar words.


  • Allow students access to reference materials in English in order to define unfamiliar words.
  • Ask students to summarize the main points of the lesson to a partner before sharing with the whole class.
  • Call on students first to explain their thinking in a small group or whole group setting.
(6 minutes)
  • Give students an index card to serve as the exit ticket. Instruct them to write a fact about something they are very familiar with on one side of the card. Have them write an opinion about that same topic on the other side of the card.
(3 minutes)
  • Call on students to share a fact or opinion from their exit ticket with the whole class.
  • Remind students that authors include facts and opinions in all different types of writing to give you information about a topic. It is up to us as readers to notice the facts and opinions, and use them to figure out what the author wants us to know or feel about a topic. Facts and opinions give us a clue into the author's point of view about a topic.

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