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Writing Facts and Opinions
Students will be able to differentiate between fact and opinion statements and write examples of each.
- Tell students that today they will learn to differentiate between facts and opinions, and write examples of each type of statement.
- Ask students what they already know about facts and opinions, and how they tell them apart.
- Record student responses on a piece of chart paper.
- Show students the video on facts vs. opinions (see resources).
Explicit Instruction/Teacher modeling(5 minutes)
- Tell students that a fact is a statement that can be proven or checked, while an opinion is a statement that tells what a person thinks, feels, or believes and cannot be proven.
- Inform students that authors often state an opinion and then back up their opinion with facts.
- Read the following sentences and ask students to raise one hand if it is a fact and two hands if it is an opinion. The sky is blue. (F) I love it when the sky is blue. (O) I have an uncle who owns a pizza parlor. (F) My uncle makes the best pizza. (O) Alligators are solitary and territorial animals. (F) Alligators are the scariest animals. (O)
Guided Practice(10 minutes)
- Distribute the Fact & Opinion worksheet to students.
- Read the directions aloud and model how to differentiate fact from opinion for the first four statements.
- On the second page of the worksheet, model how you write an opinion and a fact about the specific topics stated.
- Have students complete the rest of the worksheet with a partner.
- Offer support to students as needed.
Independent working time(15 minutes)
- Hand out a sticky note to each student, and instruct them to write a fact on one sticky note and an opinion statement on the other.
- Refer students to the examples previously shown on the board and the video for inspiration.
- Once they have finished writing, collect the sticky notes and redistribute them to the students, making sure they did not get their own sticky notes.
- Place two pieces of chart paper on the board, one labeled 'Fact' and the other 'Opinion'.
- Give students a minute to read the sentences on the sticky notes and invite them by groups to come up to the board to sort their statements, and put them on the correct chart paper.
- Review the sorting activity to fix any errors.
Support: what to change
- Point out key words often used in opinion statements, such as 'think, believe, best, better, worse, worst'.
- Reteach the topic using a worksheet which demonstrates simple examples of facts and opinions (see resources).
Enrichment: what to change
- As a follow-up activity for students who are ready, assign them a writing task of stating their opinion and providing factual evidence to support their claim (see resources). Then, invite students to identify the facts and the opinions in each others' essays.
- Instruct students to read a newspaper editorial, while underlining the facts and highlighting the author's opinions.
- Choose an engaging subject for your students to relate to, such as amusement parks, desserts, or recess, and have students turn to a partner and say one fact and one opinion regarding the topic.
- Circulate the room to listen in on their conversations and assess their levels of understanding.
Review and closing(5 minutes)
- Discuss with students whether it is better to use facts or opinions when you are debating a particular issue with another person? Why?