Being able to distinguish fact from opinion is a basic first step in developing critical thinking. Handouts and exercises in this unit define the concepts and provide practice in the skill.
FACT OR OPINION - student handout
The student handout defines the terms fact and opinion with clues on how to identify each. Bias and author’s purpose are also discussed. There are examples throughout. Students should use this handout as an introduction to the other exercises in the unit.
FACT OR OPINION - graphic organizer
Students should use the graphic organizer to arrange notes from the Introduction handout. Emphasis is placed on clues for distinguishing fact, opinion and bias. Examples are required but may also be taken from the introduction.
FACT OR OPINION - student exercise 1
Exercise 1 requires that students read ten statements to determine if they are fact or opinion. It is important to emphasize that a fact is a statement that can be proved, not necessarily one you feel to be true. It may not be true at all. It is still not an opinion, but an incorrect fact.
Students must explain their choices using clues from the graphic organizer or introduction
FACT OR OPINION - student exercise 2
In this exercise students read a letter to the editor regarding a newspaper article. They must then determine purpose and bias and identify facts and opinions from the letter.
Another handy tool in the What's That? series from CK Teaching Aids providing quick lessons on common Literature and Social Studies topics.