Adventures in Literacy Land: Fact and Opinion

Showing posts with label Fact and Opinion. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Fact and Opinion. Show all posts

Fact and Opinion: Not as Easy as it Seems

 Hi, it's Melissa from Don't Let the Teacher Stay Up Late here to share some tips and a little tool for teaching Fact and Opinion!

I don't know about you, but this is a skill that my students really struggle with all of a sudden when they reach 4th or 5th grade. They can tell me the difference between the two and even give me examples. They even THINK they are really good at it and will sometimes say it's easy. But don't be so quick to take their word! I'm going to walk you through some quick steps to teach and review fact and opinion so that your students can be more successful, even when the examples go past, "Yellow is the best color." and "The sky is blue."

First, make sure they have a STRONG understanding of what fact and opinion looks like. This means you need to go beyond definitions and help them identify traits and clue words.

Amber Polk has a great freebie on TPT that I love to use for this. It includes definitions and characteristics that students can sort under correct categories. Then they can also put everything into an interactive notebook to refer back to later on! Click on the picture to find her freebie.

After students understand characteristics, have them begin to identify examples from text they are reading. But don't stop there! Students need to be able to explain why to reinforce their understanding. Have students highlight key words and/or write what traits are present in the sentence (specific event, date, etc). For facts, I ask my students to tell me how they could prove it is true. If the fact says, "More Olympic events take place in the summer than winter", students could say that they would look for a list of Olympic events sorted by the seasons.

To help students practice proving fact and opinion, I created this simple graphic organizer to share with you. There are two versions: one includes clipart with Si from Duck Dynasty, and the other is plain. I will keep this as a freebie forever, so don't worry about it disappearing on you!

Fact and Opinion Graphic Organizer

What other comprehension skills do you notice students struggle to master?