Facts and Opinion Teacher Resources

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Most young readers are aware that authors write to entertain or inform the audience, but it's also important for them to understand the art of persuasive writing. In the third lesson of this series, the teacher reads two letters to the class, highlighting the facts and opinions, expert testimony, and author's feelings that indicate the intent to persuade. To reinforce the concept of persuasion and capture the engagement young learners, consider bringing in examples of newspaper and magazine ads, or even video clips of television commercials to show to the class real-life examples of persuasive writing.
Students explore reasoning by completing a worksheet activity in class. In this fact vs. opinion lesson, students identify the differences between a personal opinion and something that is factually true. Students identify several statements as one of the two, list their reasons why and check their answers in class.
What does it mean to read critically? Critical readers look at the author's purpose, attitude, and tone. They draw inferences and identify facts and opinions. Use this guide to help your class become critical readers. Practice opportunities are included. 
Help your 4th graders find their heroes in this ELD instructional activity. Using three stories from Houghton-Mifflin ("Happy Birthday, Dr. King!" "Gloria Estefan," and "Lou Gehrig: The Luckiest Man"), they will analyze the traits of a hero and relate these true stories to their own lives. They can also practice expressing cause and effect, making judgments, and stating fact versus opinion. The instructional activity is differentiated into Beginning, Intermediate, and Advanced levels for developing learners.
Second graders complete a variety of activities related to the book "The Clever Monkey" by Rob Cleveland. They answer story comprehension questions, and rewrite the story. Students also complete a comprehension and fact or opinion worksheet, and write a radio announcement using descriptive words.
Learning to recognize the difference between statements of fact and opinion is an essential skill in our media-rich culture. This detailed resource provides your class members with multiple opportunities to practice this skill. A list of activities, graphic organizers, research connections, extensions, and a rubric are included.
Fourth graders identify facts and opinions as it relates to real advertisements. They create their own advertisements using fact and opinions to sell their product.
Groups of junior highers find newspaper articles which contain both facts and opinions, and present examples of each to the class. The focus is on discerning between fact and opinion. Two excellent worksheets are embedded in the plan which reinforce the differences between fact and opinion. Nice lesson!
Examine several key issues covered in the October 8, 2004, presidential debate between George W. Bush and John Kerry. Young readers analyze the opponents' use of both fact and opinion in their arguments. Use the activity to reinforce the importance of acknowledging opposing claims in writing.
How can the rhetorical structure of an editorial help to develop its argument? Use this New York Times editorial to emphasize the importance of structure in a piece of informational text. Adolescent writers then use the editorial as a model for writing their own editorials based on a current news article.
Students analyze persuasive documents to identify the persuasive techniques and target audiences. In this persuasive documents instructional activity, students identify emotional appeals in advertisements and slogans and how the appeals correlate with Maslow's "Hierarchy of Needs". Students create their own persuasive document that addresses the real-life situation as a canned food drive or tutoring program.
Writing a persuasive argument starts with a clear thesis. Using this resource, your class will write a persuasive paper on a conservation issue. They will then transform their argument into a 30-second public service announcement. If your class doesn't have access to video and editing software, they can present their announcement in front of the class. 
Students read opposing views on the lead contamination issue, identify the facts and opinions in each article, and infer the opinion of the author. They create an essay expressing their opinion on the issue complete with citations.
Students read three articles with different points of view on the water and sanitation issues in the Florida Keys. They identify the facts and opinions in each article and write a summary. In addition, they write an essay expressing their own opinion about the issue.
High schoolers read statements representing different points of view on Genetically Modified Food. They identify the "facts" and "opinions" in each statement, and then briefly summarize the issue of Genetically Modified Food in a short paragraph. Pupils research and create an essay expressing their own opinion about Gentically Modified Food, using citations from these statements and other sources to support their conclusions.
High schoolers read a series of statements made by students about the hazards and benefits of various foods. They distinguish the "facts: from "opinions" in the dialogue, summarize the facts in a short paragraph, and write an essay expressing their own view and conclusions drawn about the food, food-borne illness, and nutrition issues, using citations as necessary.
Students use a five-step process to write a persuasive essay about an issue that is related to the Mississippi River. Students build an argument based on prior knowledge and information from a variety of sources. Students base their research on a hot topic related to the river and write an essay that gives great detail for their opinion.

New Review Yeah, But...

Impress upon your young learners the importance of formulating counter arguments based on facts and not opinions. This resource is meant to strengthen arguments designed in a previous activity, but could also be used as a stand-alone activity.
“Should same-sex marriage be allowed?” As part of a study of recognizing logical fallacies learners read John Stemberger’s April 12, 2012 argument against same-sex marriage published on the opinion page of the Orlando Sentinel. They then label a series of statements taken from the article as facts, opinions, or a mixture of the two.  Class members also examine other arguments and search for the presence or absences of fallacies. The topical nature of the subject is sure to engage your pupils. 
Students write an argumentative research paper. In this refuting arguments lesson, students read passages and identify argumentative elements. Students choose a local, national, or international issue as a subject for a research paper in which they use argumentative elements.

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