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Reading Lesson Idea: Fact or Opinion?

Description

Part of critical thinking involves the ability to distinguish between fact and opinion. Before interpreting information from any source, readers must know how to sort between information that is verifiable from that which is based on a personís feelings or judgment. (Adapted from ideas in Teaching Reading and Writing Together by Carl B. Smith and Karin L. Dahl).

Materials
  • Try to collect one of each for use in a series of lessons: Newspaper article, advertisement, magazine article, tabloid article, editorial, letter to the editor.
  • OR, use a selection at the appropriate level from Comprehension Skills: Facts.
Suggestions
  • After reading an article together, help your student find and list the facts presented. (What happened?)
  • Ask your student to write an opinion about these events. (What does s/he think about them?)
  • Discuss the differences between the two kinds of statements.
  • Read together a news article and an editorial on the same subject. Find examples of specific facts and opinions in each.
  • Discuss how the qualifications of an author can affect the credibility of information.
  • Have your student look for examples of newspaper articles that contain a mixture of fact and opinion.
  • Look together at advertisements to determine what information is true and what part is promoting the purchase of the product. Talk about why the opinions of famous people are used in ads.
  • Write a letter to the editor in response to an article, editorial or issue. Submit it. Perhaps the letter will be published!
  • Read and discuss an article from a magazine or newspaper tabloid. Find examples of fact and opinion. Discuss the credibility of the article.
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