Lesson plan

Opinions Matter

Help your students learn how opinions are formed with this engaging lesson on likes, dislikes, and what they have to do with perspective. They'll love making connections between their personal opinions and those of book characters.
GradeSubjectView aligned standards

Students will be able to identify opinions and compare their own with those of others.

(5 minutes)
  • Begin by writing the words "Love, Love, Hate" on the board.
  • Have the students pair up and find two things that they both love and one thing that they both hate.
  • After a few minutes, have students share their findings as a whole group. Stop occasionally to ask questions such as: Was it hard for you and your partner to find things in common? or Why do you think people love or hate different things?
(20 minutes)
  • On your chart paper, write the word "love."
  • Place the colander, fruit, and filled up water pitcher in front of you. Tell the students that something that you absolutely love is clean, ready-to-eat fruit.
  • Write the word "hate" 6 inches below the word "love." Explain to your students that one thing you absolutely hate is the dirt that is attached to your fruit. Tell them that a good way to separate the two things from each other is by using water.
(20 minutes)
  • Place the fruit inside the colander, then place it over the clear bowl. Run some clean water over it.
  • As the dirty water accumulates, point out how the colander has helped you filter the fruit you love from the dirt you hate.
  • Write the word "Opinion" in between the words "love" and "hate," along with its definition: the way you think or feel about a topic.
  • Explain to the students than an opinion is like an internal colander that helps us separate the things we love from the things we hate.
  • Remind the students that not everyone has the same opinions. People don’t always like or dislike the same things, nor do they evenly agree or disagree on certain topics.
  • Inform students that to know a person’s opinion is to know what that person thinks about a topic. To know how a person thinks, one must pay attention to what they say and do.
  • Read aloud Ruby Bridges Goes to School: My True Story, and remind students to keep in mind what they've just learned as they listen.
(30 minutes)
  • Give each student a sheet of white paper, and ask her to create a love/hate Venn diagram that reflects her personal opinion.
  • Once students have completed this activity, provide them with butcher paper and have them work on a full body cutout of themselves that reflects what they say, do, and think on one side, and what Ruby says, does, and thinks on the opposite side.
  • Encourage students to use the head of their cutout to write what they think, the mouth portion of their cutout to write what they say, and the hand portions to write what they do.
  • Enrichment:Challenge advanced students to research the government law that made racial segregation illegal during the time between activities.
  • Support:Allow struggling students to work in pairs and refer back to the images in the book as they complete their cutouts.
(30 minutes)
  • Allow each student to present her cutout to the rest of the class.
(5 minutes)
  • Write the following questions on the board, and have the students discuss the answers with one another: What is an opinion? What is racial segregation? What questions did you ask yourself when you were doing the Venn Diagram?

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