Fact and Opinion Lesson Plan
Author: Nicole Pilarz
Grade/Level: 3rd grade
Length: approximately 45 minutes
- Students will be able to compose definitions as a class, for the terms fact and opinion.
- Students will be able to explain the difference between the terms fact and opinion.
- Students will be able to identify keywords, including adjectives, which help explain
why a sentence is an opinion.
- Students will be able to classify sentences from the book, The Icky Bug Alphabet
Book as either facts or opinions.
- Students will be able to correctly distinguish 15 of 20 sentences as either facts or
After the topic of fact and opinion has been introduced, the vocabulary words listed above will
be discussed as a class and we will come up with definitions together. Various examples from
brainstorming activities and text will be used to further enforce these definitions. I will listen to
student’s responses and move on when I think they understand the meaning of the vocabulary
words. Class activities will also be used to evaluate students understanding of these definitions.
The purpose of this lesson is to help students better understand the difference between facts and
opinions. I plan on achieving this in multiple ways. As a class we will go over what it means to
be a fact or an opinion by brainstorming definitions, using examples from the text, The Icky Bug
Alphabet Book, and identifying keywords that can be used to recognize opinion sentences. The
students will identify adjectives and why they help prove that a sentence is an opinion. Students
will also complete an activity where they categorize twenty sentences as either facts or opinions.
We will go over the answers as a class using index cards.
Speaking and Listening Standards: Comprehension and Collaboration
1. Engage effectively in a range of collaborative discussions (one-on-one, in groups, and
teacher led) with diverse partners on grade 3 topics and texts, building on others’ ideas
and expressing their own clearly.
b. Follow agreed-upon rules for discussions (e.g. gaining the floor in respectful ways,
listening to others with care, speaking one at a time about the topics and texts under
c. Ask questions to check understanding of information presented, stay on topic, and link
their comments to the remarks of others.
d. Explain their own ideas and understanding in light of the discussion.
3. Ask and answer questions about information from a speaker, offering appropriate
elaboration and detail.
Language Standards: Conventions of Standard English
1. Demonstrate command of the conventions of standard English grammar and usage when
writing or speaking.
a. Explain the function of nouns, pronouns, verbs, adjectives, and adverbs in general
- 2 pieces of chart paper
- 1 copy of The Icky Bug Alphabet Book written by Jerry Pallotta
- 1 marker
- 20 pencils
- 20 numbered index cards with sentences that will go on student’s desks
- 20 “Fact and Opinion Scoot” worksheets
- 20 index cards labeled with the words fact and opinion
- 1 roll of tape
- 1 copy of Fact and Opinion answer sheet
Pallotta, Jerry. The Icky Bug Alphabet Book. New York: Scholastic Inc., 1986. Print.
National Governors Association Center for Best Practices, Council of Chief State School
Officers. "Common Core State Standards." EngageNY. National Governors Association
Center for Best Practices, Council of Chief State School Officers, Washington D.C.,
2010. Web. 29 Oct. 2012. <http://engageny.org/>.
Students will be called to the floor one row at a time for the initiating strategy. Fact and Opinion
discussion, examples from the book The Icky Bug Alphabet Book, and further brainstorming
will also take place sitting on the floor in the front of the room. Students will be dismissed back
to their assigned desks for the Fact and Opinion Scoot activity. During this time students will be
moving to every desk in a designated pattern in order to complete the activity. Then students
will be called back to the carpet for the closure. The worksheet for students will be handed out
when appropriate by teacher’s helper. Sentence index cards will be already taped to students’
desks. Fact or Opinion index cards will be passed out by the teacher after the activity is
1. Call students to the carpet one row at a time
2. Once students are seated say; “Before we start the lesson I want everyone to vote on a
few statements I have written on the chart paper.”
3. On a piece of chart paper write “Dogs are better than cats.” Tell the students to raise their
hands if they agree with this statement. On the chart paper record the number of votes.
Ask one of the students who raised their hand why they think this way.
4. Then write the statement, “Dogs and cats are animals.” Everyone should raise their hand
and agree, record this on the chart paper.
1. Once the statements have been voted on say; “Boys and girls I’ve asked you to vote on
two statements about cats and dogs. For the first statement only some of you agreed, but
for the second statement everybody agreed on one answer. Can anyone explain to me
why this happened?”
2. Listen to students responses. Use guiding questions to try and have students come to the
conclusion that one statement is a fact and the other is an opinion. Guiding questions
could include; why did everyone agree on the second statement? Why is the first
3. Once the term fact has been established, have a discussion about what makes a sentence a
4. Write responses on the chart paper. Possible answers could include; a fact is always true.
A fact can be proven using proper evidence. A fact can’t be argued.
5. Next have a discussion about what makes a sentence an opinion and record answers on
the chart paper. Answers could include; opinions can’t be proven true. Opinions are not
true all the time. An opinion tells what someone thinks or believes. Even if one person
disagrees it is usually an opinion. An opinion can be argued.
6. Ask students if they know any keywords that would give them a clue that a sentence is an
opinion. These could include personal feeling words such as think, believe, probably
usually, should. Record these words on the chart paper.
7. Use guiding questions to help students come to the conclusion that describing words such
as best, worst, good, bad, terrible, amazing, fun, beautiful, etc. usually mean that a
sentence is an opinion. Remind students that these words are called adjectives and take
this time to briefly review adjectives. Record these words on the chart paper as well.
8. Hold up the story The Icky Bug Alphabet Book and tell the students we will not be
reading the whole story, but I picked out a few pages that have either facts or opinions or
both. Listen to some of the pages and see if you can pick out different facts or opinions.
9. Make a chart on the chart paper with one side labeled “Facts” and the other labeled
“Opinions” and record the students’ answers.
10. Start by reading specific sentences from the book and ask the class whether it was a fact
or an opinion and discuss why.
11. Then read the entire page or paragraph and ask students to tell me a fact or an opinion
they heard, write all responses on the chart. Pages I will use are the letters, “c, h, k, r, s,
12. Then, without using the book use think, pair, share and ask the students to tell their
partner one fact and one opinion they have about bumble bees. Record a few of their
responses on the chart.
13. Explain to the students that we are now going to try a new activity called “Fact and
Opinion Scoot” to decide whether sentences are facts or opinions.
14. Give students the directions. “Boys and girls when I call your row I want you to go back
to your desks and take out a pencil. The teacher’s helper will pass out the papers we will
need for this activity.
15. On your desks you will find a numbered card do not touch it or write on it until you are
given further instructions. Dismiss students to their seats and pass out the papers.
16. Tell students to write their name and student number on their paper. Look at the index
card on your desk, there should be a number on the corner of your card. Star this number
on your worksheet; this is where you will begin.
17. Ask students to put their pencils down and listen to the instructions. On every card there
is a sentence written. This sentence is either a fact or an opinion. On your paper in the
line matching the number on your index card write the letter “F” if you think the sentence
is a fact, or the letter “O” if you think the sentence is an opinion. For example if your
card has a number 7 on it, you will write your answer on the line labeled 7. This is very
18. After 30 seconds everyone will switch seats in a specific direction. If you get confused
there is an arrow on your index card that will show you the desk to move to next.
19. Continue this process until all twenty spaces have been filled in and you end back at your
20. I will collect the papers and the student or students with the most correct answers will
receive a small prize next time I see you.
1. When all the papers have been handed in, pass out index cards that have the word “fact”
on one side and the word “opinion” on the other side. Call the students back to the carpet
one row at a time.
2. Tell the students now we can go over whether the sentences you just answered were facts
or opinions. I will read the sentences and I would like you to show me, by holding up
your index cards, whether you thought this sentence was a fact or an opinion.
3. Read the sentences and go over the ones that seem to have discrepancies.
4. If time does not allow us to go over all of the sentences, ask the students if there were any
sentences they remember having trouble with. Discuss those sentences as a class.
- Teacher will guide the students, using appropriate questioning strategies, in
composing definitions for the terms fact and opinion.
- Teacher will listen to the students describe the differences between the terms facts
- Teacher will observe students identifying keywords to recognize opinion sentences,
and pay special attention to the inclusion of adjectives.
- Teacher will listen to students categorize sentences from the book “The Icky Bug
Alphabet Book” as either facts or opinions
- Teacher will grade students individual activity worksheets based on whether a
sentence was a fact or an opinion.
Students writing will be evaluated based on whether or not they correctly labeled 15 of the 20
sentences on the provided worksheet as either facts or opinions. The worksheet will relate
directly to the comprehension portion of the performance objectives. During the lesson I will
evaluate the students while listening to their responses according to the performance objectives.
After handing in the final product we will go over the worksheet as a class so that I can see
which sentences the students struggled with and clear up any immediate questions or confusion.
I will differentiate the lesson in multiple ways. If students are not understanding a question I will
restate it using different words or guide them with different questioning techniques. When going
over the lesson I am writing ideas on chart paper and giving examples verbally in order to
accommodate both oral and visual learners. For students who are struggling with the assignment
they may receive slightly different worksheets that bold or italicize keywords that will help them
arrive at an answer. The teacher will constantly work with these students to ensure they
understand the concept of fact and opinion. Students who need to be challenged will be
encouraged to give explanations for their answers and explain their thinking to the rest of the
class. I could give them sentences that are more challenging to identify as either a fact or
Authors Comments and Reflections:
After teaching the lesson I would comment on the lessons strengths and weaknesses, what I
learned by evaluating the student’s work and changes I would make to improve the lesson.
Fact and Opinion Answer Sheet
Fact 1.)There are 12 months in a year.
Opinion 2.)Sunday is the best day of the week.
Fact 3.) Your birthday comes only one day a year.
Fact 4.) Halloween is in October.
Opinion 5.) Christmas is everyone’s favorite holiday.
Opinion 6.) Spring is a beautiful season.
Opinion 7.) I think dogs are better than cats.
Fact 8.) The Buffalo Bills are a football team.
Opinion 9.) The first day of school is scary.
Opinion 10.) The Buffalo Bills are going to win the Super Bowl.
Fact 11.) A car has four wheels.
Fact 12.) The Titanic was a ship that sunk.
Fact 13.) Mrs. Mercer is a third grade teacher.
Opinion 14.) Being a basketball player is easy.
Opinion 15.) Disney World is the greatest place to go on vacation.
Fact 16.) Mrs. Mercer’s classroom is in room 213.
Opinion 17.) Junie B Jones is a funny book series.
Fact 18.) George Washington was our first president.
Opinion 19.) Roses are the nicest smelling flower.
Opinion 20.) I believe George Washington was the most important president.