Students have a lot of opinions when it comes to school and school subjects. In this lesson, students are going to present their opinion about their most preferred subject and support their reasoning with facts. This allows students the opportunity to practice W.5.1.
I introduce this activity with the short video overview of "Fact and Opinion" and answer questions afterward.
I display the Warm Up activity on Smart Board and the students are then given the task of writing a list of fifteen facts about their most or least preferred school subject or special (PE, Music, Art, etc.) (Thinking of Facts about Math) As they write, I monitor that they're not sneaking opinions into the list. Although they've practiced this skill for years, even as fifth graders they have a tendency to confuse the two. Some students volunteer to read their list of facts to the class (Reading his fifteen facts to the class).
Writing an opinion is often be easier than finding the facts. This is why I choose to have them begin the lesson by writing their list of facts. Now, they will construct a paper that is their opinion, but includes the supporting information they originally wrote (Writing her fact and opinion piece).
They always want to know how long the paper has to be. This question gets tiresome. My goal is for them to reach a point in writing when they simply write what comes to mind and is needed to effectively communicate their message. But I answer as always..."Don't be concerned about your paper's length- just write the thoughts that come to mind, and write them all. There is plenty of time to organize them, and the most important thing is to GET THEM ON PAPER."
They trade papers with a friend, and the friend uses the Fact and Opinion organizer to list all of the facts and opinions they can find in the paper. The kids really enjoy the opportunity to read each other's papers and the challenge of finding facts and opinion. They also like checking the list their partners made of their own information.