Lesson: Fact and Opinion in an Informational Text

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Lesson Objective

Students will be able to label facts and opinions in an informational text article.

Lesson Plan

Connection (3-5 mins): Yesterday, we worked really hard to label sentences as facts and opinions.  We learned that facts are statements that can be proven and opinions are what someone believes or feels.  Today, we will continue to practice with facts and opinions in an informational text.

Teach/Active Engagement (10-12 mins): Sometimes an author will place their opinion in an article they write.  Even though informational texts are written to teach the reader about a topic, the author may also include opinions in their writing.  It is important as readers to distinguish between the facts an author is trying to teach or explain and opinions of the individual article.  We will practice today with an article titled, It’s Check Up Time.

Teacher reads aloud first paragraph of the article. 

Yesterday, officials at the San Diego Zoo in California got their first close-up look at the zoo's 20-day old panda cub, and the news is bear-y good. "It's heart and lungs sound fine,'" says Zoo veterinarian Meg Sutherland-Smith. "It's a very robust little cub!" The newborn panda weighs in at a little over a pound and is about 11 inches long.

I noticed in this paragraph there were both facts and opinions.  The first sentence includes a fact that the panda is 20-days old.  I know I can prove this by looking at when the panda was born.  Teacher unveils teaching chart for the day (see attached resource).  I will add that fact to the fact column of the graphic organizer.  Again, I know this is a fact because I can measure the age of the panda cub.  I will include that in the organizer as well.

I also noticed there were opinions in the first paragraph.  The veterinarian says the cub is very robust.  This is an opinion because it is what the veterinarian thinks based on what she knows about cubs.  If I was looking at the cub or another doctor they might think differently about the cub.  I will add that to the opinion column of our graphic organizer.

Now it’s your turn to try.  Teacher reads aloud second paragraph.

Giant panda Bai Yun gave birth to the cub on August 3. This was her fourth successful birth at the zoo since 1999. Hua Mei, Bai Yun's first cub was the first giant panda born in the United States to survive. Hua Mei has since been sent to China and has given birth to three sets of twins. In keeping with the Chinese tradition, the newborn cub will be named after it reaches 100 days old.

Turn and tell your partner what facts and opinions you notice in that paragraph.  Try to label as many as you can.  Students should discuss the different facts in this paragraph.  Teacher calls on partnerships to share out their responses.  Teacher charts those responses on the class chart.

Independent Reading (15-20 mins): Students return to their seats.  Teacher hands out copies of the article, It’s Check Up Time and graphic organizers.  Today, at your seats you will continue to tread the article and write the facts and opinions you notice on your own graphic organizer.  Remember you need to include why the statement is a fact or an opinion. If you finish early you may read independently.

Exit Slip/Share(3-5 mins): Teacher should collect the graphic organizers to use as an assessment. 

Reflection: I found this lesson to be much more difficult than the introductory fact and opinion lesson.  One way to differentiate for struggling readers is to read the entire article aloud, or allow partner reading.  I would suggest grading this exit slip for mastery as well as reviewing the answers with students in another lesson to ensure they understood the reasoning behind their answers.

Lesson Resources

It's Check Up Time article
Fact and Opinion Graphic Organizer   Activity


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