I have noticed while reading summaries and informative essays written by the students, that many students have a hard time separating opinion from the written information in the text. We have written many opinion papers and persuasive papers where the students have been asked to use their opinion and support their opinion with facts. However, when the students are asked to write a summary of the text or an informational piece, they often include their own opinion statements where only information gathered from the text should be present.
To start today's lesson, I want to clear up the confusion. We'll talk about the difference between an opinion statement and a factual statement. I want to make it clear to the students that when writing an opinion or persuasive piece, it is appropriate to include both opinion and fact. In fact when an opinion is backed up by fact, the opinion becomes stronger. However, when writing an informational piece, it is more of a report of factual information. It becomes more important to keep our own opinions out and report on the information we read about. We will watch the following video clip to review fact vs. opinion.
To give the students some practice with fact versus opinion, I have created a practice page which I have included in the resources. After the students have after the students have completed the practice page, we will go over the answers together as a class to ensure sure that the students have a clear understanding of the differences between facts and opinions.
To practice finding fact and opinion within, I will have the students read the Time for Kids article titled "Debate! Should National Parks Allow the Use of Cell Phones?" Before they begin, I will instruct them to choose to different colored crayons or markers. As the students read, I will ask them to highlight or underline facts they find within the text with one color, and opinions with the other color. Once the students have read through and idetified the facts and the opinions within the text, I will have them pair up with a partner and compare the facts and opinions they each found.
Joyce, J. (2014). Debate! Should national parks allow the use of cell phones?. Time for Kids. Retrieved April 23, 2014, from http://www.timeforkids.com/news/debate/149576