Beacon Lesson Plan Library

Is That a Fact, Harry?

Gail Faughn

Description

Students examine short excerpts from books and determine whether each one is fact, fiction, or opinion.

Objectives

The student identifies examples of fact, fiction, or opinion in text.

Materials

-Broom, stuffed owl, and glasses with heavy frames
-Fiction books written at or below grade level
-Three large posters, with one of these sentences written on each:
1. They reached King’s Cross at half-past ten.
2. Harry’s last month with the Dursleys wasn’t fun.
3. Now the third brother was walking briskly toward the barrier -- he was almost there -- and then, quite suddenly, he wasn’t anywhere.
-Large piece of paper, whiteboard, or transparency with overhead projector.
-List #1 of excerpts from books (see Associated File) -- one copy for each small group
-List #2 of excerpts from books (see Associated File) -- one copy for each student

Preparations

1. Prepare posters with excerpts.
2. Choose books from which to read selections and mark selections in each. There should be several examples of fact, fiction, and opinion.
3. Duplicate copies of List #1 and List #2.
4. Provide means of writing results for entire class to see (chart paper, whiteboard, etc.).

Procedures

1. Enter carrying broom and stuffed owl, and wearing heavy-rimmed glasses. Announce that the class is going to work with Harry Potter and some other book friends today to learn more about statements of fact, fiction, and opinion in books.

2. Review with students the meaning of “fact”, “fiction”, and “opinion”. Students should define “fact” as something that can be proven, “fiction” as a made-up idea, and “opinion” as a personal point of view. Discuss with students that examples of fact, fiction, and opinion can be found even in books that are not informational (fictional).

3. Show students the three large posters. Ask them to identify the sentence that is a fact, the one that is fiction, and the one that is an opinion. Ask students to give the reason(s) for each choice.

4. Read selections from other fiction books, asking students to tell whether each excerpt is fact, fiction, or opinion, and why.

5. Divide students into small groups. In each group one or more students should serve as readers, one as the recorder, and one as the reporter. Give each group a set of excerpts from books (List #1). Ask them to decide as a group whether each statement is fact, fiction, or opinion. The student recorder should record the group decisions on the list of questions.

6. After the groups have finished, ask the reporter from each group to share their group’s decisions with the entire class. Record the results on a large chart that the entire class can see. If there are differences of opinion, discuss as a class what the correct choice(s) would be and why.

7. Give each student a list of excerpts from books (List #2) and ask them to write next to each whether the excerpt is fact, fiction, or opinion.

Assessments

The student will be given a list of excerpts from books and will be able to identify with at least 80% accuracy whether each statement is fact, fiction, or opinion.

The teacher will observe students as they work in groups; students should be working cooperatively, and should be carrying out their assigned tasks. They should be able to give reasons for their choices. Provide feedback as needed.

Extensions

Students, either in groups or individually, may be given a topic and asked to write sentences about the topic illustrating fact, fiction, and opinion.

Web Links

Web supplement for Is That a Fact, Harry?
Harry Potter

Web supplement for Is That a Fact, Harry?
Kidsreads Presents Harry Potter

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