Introduce: Fact and Opinion
Materials: A fiction or nonfiction book to read out loud, chart paper or board
What to Do
Choose a book that appeals to early readers. Make sure that the book has both facts and opinions in it. If such a text proves hard to find, you may choose to write a short story or essay instead.
1. Write the terms fact and opinion on the board or chart paper. Ask students what they think these terms mean.
Look at the terms on the board. What do you think fact means? What does opinion mean?
2. Record the students’ comments on the chart paper or board.
3. Explain the meaning of fact and opinion.
Facts are true statements. Real names, dates, things from history, and statistics are facts. Opinions, on the other hand, are personal ideas. Let’s do an example. Think about a red balloon. A fact about the balloon would be that it is red. This is a true statement. No one can argue this. An opinion might be that a red balloon is prettier than a blue balloon. This is one person’s idea. Some people might think the blue balloon is prettier.
4. Give examples of the ways students have already come into contact with fact and opinion in their own lives.
Can you tell one fact about your life? Have you ever had an opinion that differed from someone else’s opinion? What is your opinion about this picture in our classroom?
5. Read the book, pausing at appropriate points to note facts and opinions.
We are going to focus on fact and opinion when we read this book. I will stop at points and we will write down facts and opinions. We will use that information to help us understand the book. Who can tell us a fact or opinion that we have come across so far?
6. Record students’ comments about facts and opinions in the book on the chart paper or board.
7. Finish reading the book.
For Advanced Students:
Encourage these students to come up with one fact and one opinion about the book that was read. (i.e., Fact: The book was written by _________. Opinion: I liked this book.)
For Struggling Students:
Some students may have difficulty determining a fact from an opinion. Ask questions such as these:
- Did this really happen?
- Is this one person’s idea?
- Can you argue this point?
- Is this a true statement?
For ELL Students:
When introducing the lesson, make sure that students understand the terms fact and opinion. You may wish to give them the terms in English and in their native language as well to make sure they understand the concepts. Make sure to explain the meaning of any key vocabulary or concepts.