Saturday, November 19, 2011

Just the Facts... and Opinions

This week my third graders were working on fact and opinion. Since that is always a hard skill for them to grasp, I tried several ways of teaching it. First, we hit the basics: "a fact can be proven" and "opinion is a thought or a feeling." Then we looked at many examples and created a list of clues to help point them in the fact or opinion direction. I used those clues to create an anchor chart that we added to throughout the week (that's why it's in several different colors and not the neatest anchor chart ever). I did make sure they knew that these words were just clues. Here is the anchor chart we created together:

Each day we practiced the skill in a new way. One day I had them make a T-chart for facts and opinions they found in the story for the week. Another day I used a worksheet that listed statements, and students labeled them fact or opinion and then had to circle the words that told them whether it was a fact or an opinion. My favorite day was the day I gave each pair of students an ad from a magazine. The students had to look at the ads and decide which statements were facts and which were opinions. I particularly like this one because it also helps them read advertising with a critical eye.

I believe this helped my students have a better understanding of fact and opinion (just my opinion, of course). :-)

And to launch into the holiday season, I have created a Winter Holiday Fact and Opinion activity sheet. And that's a fact. :-)


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