What do you see in this picture?
One of the main reading concepts we have been working on with the second and third graders is learning how to tell if a statement is a fact or an opinion. One of the most important things we learned from this is that fact and opinions are not exactly the same as true or false.
For example: If my favorite color is blue, it is true for me that blue is a nice color but it is still an opinion and not a fact that is true for everyone.
Years ago people said: “The world is flat!” This statement is presented as a fact (but as we know today it is not true).
TRICKY STUFF! But actually pretty easy for 2nd and 3rd graders to catch onto, especially when they have plenty of practice and can make the examples themselves.
So, whether you see a duck or a rabbit in the picture (as I did) or a goose or a beak or something else, it is just A MATTER OF PERSPECTIVE!
We all have different perspectives and different opinions and that is OK! It is important for us to understand what our opinions are so we don’t try to present our opinions as facts for everyone. Not everyone likes blue and they don’t have to!
Checking What We Learned
To practice with facts and opinions we first played a game: I have, Who has
Students were told that there are BOTH a fact AND an opinion about each item on the cards (basketball, chocolate cake, alligators, etc.) The cards are divided out among the students and the student with the Start Here card starts by reading: I have the first card (it is a fact) WHO HAS: an opinion about chocolate cake?
The student who has an opinion about chocolate cake then reads their card- but be sure that you don’t have the fact about chocolate cake!
Applying What We Learned
One we have the hang of the game, we are ready to apply it ourselves! For homework the students had to write one fact OR opinion of their own to test their fellow classmates. The next day we played another game. Each student read their fact or opinion and if we thought it was an opinion we went to the front of the room. If we thought it was a fact we went to the back of the room. THEN if it was an opinion we played a different game: Agree/Disagree. If we agreed with the opinion we went to the front of the room and if we disagreed we went to the back of the room.
One Final Test
Just in case the first two tests aren’t enough there was one more large activity we used to learn about facts/opinions and check what we know. Using the facts and opinions the student wrote themselves, I wrote enough more facts and opinions about the same subject for students. Then, I took one topic (basketball for example) and gave each student one statement either a fact or an opinion and students had to get into groups with the other students who had the same type of statement. Here the teacher has to check the students and make sure they found the right group. If there is a fact among opinions of vise versa DON’T TELL THE STUDENTS WHICH ONE IS WRONG! Let them figure it out themselves. Encourage students to look for key which with identify facts: She said, some people…. or opinions: best, better, nice, bad, etc. When we can point out the reason that one of their statements is a fact or an opinion we know we have learned something!
So, can you tell which are the facts and which are the opinions?