July 22, 2015
By Amanda Clarkson

Lesson plan

Can You Prove It? Facts and Opinions!

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GradeSubjectView aligned standards

Students will be able to identify facts and opinions and explain why each is a fact or opinion.

(5 minutes)
  • Write the following sentence on the board: My friend's favorite colour is yellow.
  • Distribute the index cards, and ask each student to write "pre-assessment" at the top of one of her cards.
  • Underneath, have students write down whether they think the sentence on the board is a fact or an opinion. Remind them to explain their answers.
  • Take a vote to determine what most students believe. Allow volunteers to say a few words defending their opinion.
  • Have students put aside their card. Build anticipation by letting them know that you'll reveal the correct answer at the end of the lesson.
(5 minutes)
  • Explain that a FactIs a statement that CanBe proven true, while an opinion is a statement that CannotBe proven true. Facts can be confirmed by checking books or reliable internet sources. If a fact is about a person, you can ask that person whether the fact is true. The same doesn't go for an opinion.
  • Hold up your copy of the Facts and Opinions worksheet. Read aloud the first statement: Mystery novels are the most exciting books to read.
  • Model the process of determining whether this is a fact or opinion by asking yourself, "Is this a statement that can be proven true? No, so it's an opinion."
  • Read the next statement: My new backpack cost me only $35.99.
  • Again, model for students how to determine whether this is a fact or opinion. Ask yourself, "Is this a statement that can be proven true? Yes, I can ask the person who bought the backpack how much it cost. I could also look at his receipt. This statement is a fact."
(10 minutes)
  • Have students take out their second index card.
  • Ask them to write a large "F" on one side of the card and a large "O" on the other side.
  • Briefly explain the exercise that you'll be conducting. You'll read some more facts and opinions to the class. After hearing each statement, each student will hold up an F card if she thinks it's a fact and an O card if she thinks it's an opinion.
  • Complete this activity with the remaining sentences on the worksheet. After students vote for each word, let them know the correct answer. Ask a student who answered correctly to explain how she arrived at her answer.
(15 minutes)
  • Distribute a Fact or Opinion? The Blobfish and More worksheet to each student.
  • Give the class about ten minutes to complete the worksheet.
  • Go over the answers, and make sure to provide an explanation for each one.
  • Enrichment:Students who complete the Fact or Opinion? The Blobfish and More worksheet early can work on the second page of the Facts and Opinions worksheet.
  • Support:Students who are struggling to distinguish between the facts and opinions on the worksheet could be given additional examples of each type of statement. Ask them to write the definitions of fact and opinion on the top of their worksheets and refer to them whenever needed.

A projector or document camera may be used to display statements from the Facts and Opinions worksheet as they're read.

(5 minutes)
  • Refer back to the sentence from the beginning of the lesson: My friend's favorite colour is yellow.
  • Have students flip to the other side of their first index card and write "post-assessment" at the top. Underneath, have them write what they now think about whether the statement is a fact or an opinion. Remind them to explain their reasoning process, even if it hasn't changed.
  • Have each student turn in her card once she's finished.
(5 minutes)
  • Once all the cards are collected, take a final fact/opinion vote on the sentence: My friend's favorite colour is yellow.
  • Tell students that the correct answer is fact. Explain that it can be proven true, since you could ask your friend about his favorite colour.
  • Challenge students to look out for facts and opinions in what they read for the rest of the day.

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