Help students learn to define and differentiate fact and opinion while presenting this two-day lesson, which will help to improve their writing with the focus on opinion pieces.
Write opinion pieces in which they introduce the topic or book they are writing about, state an opinion, supply reasons that support the opinion, use linking words (e.g., because, and, also) to connect opinion and reasons, and provide a concluding statement or section. (LA.2.W.1)
Opinion: A view formed about something that is not necessarily based on fact.
Fact: A thing that is true, indisputably the case
Linking Words: Words that help to connect two parts of a sentence, such as because, and or also.
Concluding Statement: The last sentence of a written piece, which summarizes everything that was just written.
Say, “Today we are going to talk about the difference between fact and opinion. Remember that a fact is something that is true. Let’s think about the story of Goldilocks and the Three Bears. I am going to make some statements about the story. Raise your hand if you can tell me whether it is fact or opinion. You must be able to tell me why you think it is a fact or an opinion."
- Goldilocks has blond hair. (Fact)
- There are three bears in the story. (Fact)
- Goldilocks should not have gone into the bears’ house because it is against the law. (Opinion)
- Goldilocks broke a chair. (Fact)
- The bears were mean because they scared Goldilocks. (Opinion)
- The forest was scary because it was dark. (Opinion)
Next, call four students to the front of the room. Ask fact/opinion questions about the students. You might say, “John is taller than the others." or “Sue is the nicest." or “Sarah is wearing a red shirt." or “Jason’s haircut looks good." With each statement, the students must give reason why it is fact or opinion.
Throughout the day say something random and ask if it is a fact or opinion. Such as, “It is raining so we have to stay inside." or “The cafeteria had a good lunch today."
Use the provided worksheet for seatwork or homework.
Gather the students around you and write the word MATH on the board. Say, “Raise your hand if you like math." Call on a student to say why they like math. Then write two or three sentences based on what the student says. It might say, “I like math because it is fun to solve problems. I know that math is important to learn because many jobs use math. Math is fun because we get to solve problems and it is important to learn."
Next call on someone who does not like math and do the same thing.
“I don’t like math because it is hard for me. Also, I get nervous when I don’t know the answer. I don’t think I will ever use math because I want to be an actress when I grow up. Math is hard, it makes me nervous and I don’t think I will ever use it."
Look at both paragraphs and underline the connecting words in the sentence. Also, point out that the last sentence summarizes the others. When stating an opinion you must back it up with reasons why.
Write three or four subjects on the board from which the students can choose, such as, “Pizza is good (or not good)," “We should (or should not) go to school in the summer," “Dogs are (or are not) the best pets," and “Winter is (is not) the best season."
Write 2-3 complete sentences expressing your opinion.
Support your opinion with reasons why.
Use connecting words.
Write a concluding statement
Share writing with the class.