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    Fact or Opinion Lesson
    By Jennifer Arceneaux

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    This is something that I used recently. (I'm only in methods so I'm still in college, but the kids loved it.) It was for a fourth grade class but it could work anywhere.

    1. The teacher will check for prior understanding of fact vs. opinion. (3 minutes) Hold up sentence strip defining opinion. Have the definition written on one side and the word 'opinion' on the other side. Read the definition and see if the students know whether you are defining fact or opinion. Do the same for the 'fact' sentence strip.

    2. Further explain the difference between fact & opinion using examples from the story. (5 minutes)

    FACT - Most guinea pigs live for about five to eight years. (pg. 188)
    FACT - The correct way to pick up a guinea pig is with one hand over its shoulders and the other supporting its bottom. (pg. 190)

    The teacher will use these sentences and point out that a fact is a statement that can be proved or disproved through reading, observing, or asking an expert. The teacher will then ask the students why they think that the two statements are facts.

    OPINION - They’re (guinea pigs) are awfully easy to keep, because they aren’t fussy. (pg. 187)
    OPINION - And that brings me to what’s best of all about having guinea pigs – baby guinea pigs. (pg. 192)

    The teacher will use these sentences to show the students that an opinion tells what a person thinks or feels about a subject The teacher will point out to the students, key words that can identify an opinion statement. (easy, best, fun, great) The teacher will then ask the students if they can think of any words that might identify an opinion statement.

    3. The teacher will check for comprehension by having children hold up cards with "F" for fact and "O" for opinion after the teacher reads a sentence to the students.(3 minutes)
    4. The teacher and students will read (or reread) the story, "I Love Guinea Pigs" by Dick King-Smith and become 'fact or opinion detectives' paying close attention to the story and identifying fact and opinion statements.(10 minutes)

    The teacher will model (orally) questions that the students need to ask themselves. "I wonder if that can be proved somewhere else?" (Like on the Internet or a reference book) "That statement sounds like the author is sharing what he/she thinks. I don’t think the statement that was just made can be proven."

    5. The students will then find and write two fact statements on their sentence strips and two opinion statements from within the story.(5 minutes)

    6. The teacher and students will then discuss their sentences. (2 minutes)

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