Beacon Lesson Plan Library

That's a Fact

Laurie Ayers
Bay District Schools


This language arts lesson is for Day 5 of the unit [Wellness Wonders]. Students use various media (newspapers, magazines, brochures, catalogs, etc.) to distinguish fact from opinion.


The student listens attentively to the speaker (including but not limited to making eye contact and facing the speaker).

The student distinguishes fact from opinions in newspapers, magazines, and other media.


-Various printed media such as newspapers, videos, magazines, brochures, and catalogs with health related ads and articles (see Weblinks)
-Video [Red Riding Hood and the Well-fed Wolf], Churchill Media, 1990, (16 minutes).
-VCR and television
-Video Review, one teacher copy (see associated file)
-Bowl of fresh broccoli, cut into bite-size pieces (enough for each student to get a bite)
-Vocabulary Words and Meanings for fact and opinion (previously downloaded for language arts [Health Hounds] lesson on Day 2)
-Fact and Opinion Cards, one of each per student (see associated file)
-Sample Newspaper Restaurant Review and key (see Extensions and associated file)


1. Gather materials.
2. Download and make a copy of Vocabulary Words and Meanings (see associated file). Glue the vocabulary words onto construction paper. Laminate them for durability.
3. Download and make a copy of the Video Review (see associated file).
4. Preview the video [Red Riding Hood and the Well-fed Wolf].
5. Download and make copies of Fact and Opinion Cards, one of each per student (see associated file).
6. Locate and highlight examples of facts and opinions in health related ads/articles in various printed media. It is suggested that the teacher use two different highlighter colors to distinguish facts from opinions. Some examples are provided (see Weblinks).


Note - This lesson should be completed prior to the "Health Hunt" lesson.

Vocabulary – fact, opinion, media

1. Display a bowl of fresh broccoli, cut into bite-size pieces.

2. Draw students’ attention to the broccoli and announce, “I’m sure all of you like broccoli (because it is so nutritious), so I’m going to give each one of you a bite to eat.”

3. Distribute a small piece of broccoli to each student and observe students’ reactions.

4. Ask students if there is a problem.

5. Guide students in realizing that the statement you made in step 2 may not be a true fact.

6. Allow students who like broccoli to eat the sample. Students who do not like broccoli return their samples to the teacher.

7. Define the word fact using the Vocabulary Words and Meanings (previously downloaded on Day 2). Discuss.

8. Tell students before assuming all students like broccoli, maybe you should have asked the question, “Who likes broccoli?” If all students raised their hands, then you would have proof and the statement would be a fact.

9. Further explain that a fact can be proven and is a certainty. It doesn’t change from person to person or place to place. Therefore, if all students do not raise their hands, the statement would not be a fact.

10. Ask the question, “Who likes broccoli?”

11. Discuss how not everyone seems to like broccoli. Note: If, by chance, all students indicate they do like broccoli, explain this is a fact. Then choose another question to ask that might generate an opinion response.

12. Define the word opinion using the Vocabulary Words and Meanings (previously downloaded for the [Health Hound] lesson on Day 2 – see Weblinks).

13. Point out that certain words (such as in my opinion, I think, I feel, my favorite, I like, etc.) signal an opinion. List the phrases on the board or chart paper for future reference.

14. Guide students in discussing their differences in opinions about various things (for example, flavors of ice cream, favorite vegetables, video games, bedtimes, favorite sports, etc.).

15. Review the meanings of fact and opinion. A fact is a statement that can be proven and is certain. It doesn’t change. An opinion is a statement of how one thinks, believes, or feels. Different persons have different opinions.

16. Ask student volunteers to add the words and their meanings to the unit Big Word Wall (previously downloaded on Day 2).

17. Introduce the video [Red Riding Hood and the Well-fed Wolf]. Review and encourage students to use good listening skills while watching the video. Students are to listen for examples of fact and opinion.

18. Show the video.

19. Draw a T chart on the board. Label one side Fact, the other side Opinion.

20. Guide students in identifying several examples of both fact and opinion from the video dialog. It might be necessary to replay portions of the video. Possible responses are included on the Video Review (see associated file).

21. Record student responses on the T chart.

22. Ask students if they can think of ways being able to distinguish fact from opinion might be helpful in everyday life. Discuss.

23. Guide students in realizing that distinguishing fact from opinion is beneficial when reading and when exposed to various media.

24. Using the Vocabulary Words and Meanings (previously downloaded on Day 2), define the word media. Discuss.

25. Display an assortment of media such as newspapers, videos, magazines, brochures, etc. (Try to find media that contain health related articles or advertisements).

26. Explain that it is important to be able to distinguish fact from opinion in regards to health information in media. If students cannot do this, they might be misled and/or make poor choices regarding their health.

27. Tell students they will play a game to try out their hand at distinguishing fact from opinion.

28. Distribute Fact and Opinion cards to students, one set per student (see associated file).

29. Call on student volunteers to review criteria for effective listening.

30. Tell students you will read health information from various media.

31. Students listen to the information and determine if the statement is a fact or an opinion.

32. If the statement is a fact, students hold up the Fact card.

33. If the statement is an opinion, students hold up the Opinion card.

34. Read statements from various media, pausing after each for students to determine if the information is a fact or an opinion and hold up the appropriate card.

35. Discuss any discrepancies and provide formative feedback.

36. Formatively assess responses for evidence the students distinguish fact from opinion. Provide feedback that is both guiding and positive. Guiding feedback might include, “Is there a way to prove the average person is at least five pounds overweight?” Positive feedback might include, “Great thinking! The statement, ‘Orange C is the best tasting juice you’ll ever drink.’ is an opinion. ”


Formatively assess student responses with Fact/Opinion cards to pre-selected passages from various media to determine if students accurately distinguish fact from opinion.

Listening skills are formatively assessed using the Language Arts Checklist/Listening (see KWL Diagnostic in extensions). Criteria include: makes eye contact, faces the speaker, does not talk while the speaker is talking, and does not disturb others.


1. The Beacon Unit Plan associated with this lesson can be viewed by clicking on the link located at the top of this page or by using the following URL:
Once you select the unit’s link, scroll to the bottom of the unit plans page to find the section, Associated Files. This section contains links to the Unit Plan Overview, Diagnostic and Summative Assessments, and other associated files (if any).
2. To provide more practice, the teacher could record segments of appropriate television commercials related to health, play them, and have students distinguish fact from opinion.
3. For homework, ask students to locate facts and opinions in magazines or newspapers.
4. Students can work in pairs to complete fact and opinion quizzes at the suggested Weblinks.
5. It might be helpful when using cards to ask students to hold their hands in their laps until directions to show the cards are given. This way, students are concentrating on deciding fact/opinion instead of just looking at their neighbor.
6. A pretend newspaper restaurant review for fact and opinion is provided as an additional resource in the associated file. Copies may be made for students to highlight fact/opinion statements.

Web Links

This is a health lesson for Day 2 of the [Wellness Wonders] unit.
Health Hounds

Online tutorial for students to practice fact and opinion.
Palma Sola Elementary School

Students practice distinguishing facts and opinions.
Fact or Opinion Quiz

Students practice distinguishing facts and opinions concerning spiders.
Abcteach Fact or Opinion

Students practice identifying facts and opinions about basketball.
Facts and Opinions

Article about walking from [Prevention Magazine].
Prevention Magazine

Online catalog for walking accessories.
The Walkers Warehouse

This site has many links to newspapers, magazines, and periodicals concerning health.
Newspaper World

This site has articles on kids’ health. Click Kids when entering.
Kids' Health

This site has health related informational brochures and booklets.
International Food Information Council Foundation

A food magazine with nutrition information.
The Healthy Food Magazine

A dictionary of words related to nutrition.
Nutrition Dictionary

Click Articles and Recipes to read health articles.
Smart Mouth

Attached Files

Fact and Opinion Cards.      File Extension: pdf

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