How Facts Are Used
Can facts be used to give an opinion of something? When do people do this? How can do we know this? These are questions to discuss with your students as they work through lessons on facts and opinions.
Objective: To show how facts and opinions can be intertwined to create propaganda, to enable students to pull facts from opinion, in order to understand the purpose of the specific text.
Lesson: Discuss with students what they know about propaganda. How do the creators of propaganda use facts and opinions to create sympathy for or to hurt a specific group of people, organization, and/or idea?
Have students examine two different texts. One created to help an organization, group of people and/or idea; the other to bring harm or to alienate an organization, group of people and/or idea, for instance, an ad from the Cancer Association on smoking and a cigarette advertisement. Both will have facts; what are they? Both have opinions; what are they? How are these facts twisted to convince the reader of the writer's opinion of smoking?
Assessment: After studying the various texts, students will write a one-page reflection paper on what they found discussing and defending their opinions.
These mini-lessons on facts and opinions will help student read texts critically, thereby, strengthening their ability to discern the differences between facts and opinions.