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Facts or Opinions - Wonderful Worms

Students will watch a video that features a girl who has a passion for worms.  She states many facts and opinions about worms during the segment.  Students will use a chart to differentiate between the facts and the opinions.  They will then read a series of paragraphs about worms and circle the opinions and underline the facts.

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Lesson Summary

Overview

After viewing a video about worms and their value to the environment, students, using a two-column chart, differentiate between facts and opinions.

Why is this an important concept?

It is important for learners to be able to recognize differences between facts and opinions so they know what to believe and what to consider as someone's perspective. Separating fact from opinion is central to interpreting information intelligently.

Grade Level:

4-6

Suggested Time

(1-2) 50-minute periods

Media Resources

Materials

The Lesson

Part I: Learning Activity

1. Make a transparency of the Fact and Opinion Chart and Transparency handout and copies for each student.

2. Tell students that they are going to watch a video about worms. Brainstorm about worms. Record students' ideas on the transparency. As students share ideas, ask them to identify each idea as a fact or opinion and to explain why.

Note: Some ideas may be a combination of facts and opinions. If this is the case, write the factual part of the statement in the Fact column and the opinion part of the statement in the Opinion column.

3. The purpose for viewing the video is to listen to the worm "expert," Abigail Harden, a 14-year-old girl who understands the importance of worms. Ask students to remember three or four ideas about how worms help the environment and/or the characteristics of worms. They will share these ideas with a partner after watching the video.

4. Watch the video segment "Wonderful Worms." Students work with partners and use the "I Remember" strategy and write their ideas on the Fact and Opinion Chart handout.

5. Example: "I remember . . . I think this idea is a fact because . . . ." Students classify each idea as a fact or opinion or a combination of both. Students may also add facts from their background knowledge and opinions of their own.

6. Discuss students' "I Remember" facts and opinions.

7. Graded Fact and Opinion charts can be included in student portfolios.

For students who need additional teacher guidance:
  • Model how to use the "I Remember" strategy by sharing an idea you remember. Example: "I remember that some worms live close to the surface and others live deeper in the soil. I think this idea is a fact because it can be proven and looked up in an encyclopedia." Then write the idea in the appropriate column on the Fact and Opinion Chart handout used at the beginning of the activity.
  • Ask students to share with a partner an idea they remember from the video. As a class, discuss whether each idea is a fact, opinion or combination of both and why. Then put the ideas on the chart. They may also add facts from their background knowledge and opinions of their own.

Part II: Assessment

1. Distribute the reading passage Worms: Helpful Creatures for the Environment.

2. Direct students to underline the facts and circle the opinions.

Portfolio:

This activity can be included in students' portfolios to demonstrate their understanding of the difference between facts and opinions.

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