These French Fries are actually about facts and opinions. We were studying text structures, and one of the ideas that I had was to invent a way to put up a Go Chart, because we cover so many text structures, so to invent a way to put up a Go Chart that they could actually relate to and would actually pay attention to. So we were actually discussing our favorite foods in a different subject and one of the things that came up was French Fries. And all kids love French Fries, but fourth graders really love French Fries. So the French Fry facts was just an idea that gave me a way to get them to distinguish the difference between facts and opinions.
I had them read their favorite book, and after they had read their favorite book they had to tell me some facts that were in the book, and they knew that those were things that could be proven true, and some opinions in the book, and those were items that could not be necessarily proven true. The facts or the opinions are written on the French Fries. The favorite books are listed on the front. These are the titles of the books and the authors of the books. And on the inside of them there's not really so much a way to distinguish the difference. Some of the students actually labelled them facts, and some actually labelled them opinions, but the idea was actually for them to be able to read them and say, "well this is a fact and this is an opinion".
So as you come up you can actually say "well, Tom was the best skater on our skate team". And you would say "is that a fact or an opinion?" And they can say "well that was an opinion." And I would say, "well why?" "Because everyone may not have believed that Tom was the best skater, that was something that just I thought". Or you could say something like Tom learned to skate when we was three years old, and that is something that we could actually prove. But whether or not he was the best skater would have been an opinion.
The goal of Favorite Food: Understanding Facts and Opinions (Virtual Tour) is to extend students understanding of texts and foster the development of knowledge by explicitly teaching the difference between a fact and an opinion.
- Emphasize the difference between a fact and an opinion throughout your discussion. Help students understand that a fact can be proven while an opinion is usually someone's feelings about the topic.
- Make sure to select a text that includes a variety of sentences that are both facts and opinions.
- Explicitly teaching the difference between facts and opinions will help students apply their knowledge of these terms while reading.