Test Prep 180: Fact and Opinion

On our endless pursuit of comprehending text, we have been focusing on fact and opinion (and how they add to the overall main idea of a text).  We began by reading an article from Time for Kids (on a side note, TFK is SUCH great, easy to read non-fiction...perfect for having students dissect info for comprehension purposes)  The article was about how people came together to help each other out and survive a shark attack.  After reviewing what facts and opinions were, the students set out creating a foldable using direct quotations from the text.

teachinginroom6.blogspot.com   Teaching in Room 6
When you opened the foldable, on the inside the students needed to write if it was an opinion or a fact and their evidence of it.  In my class, it is just not enough to be able to identify that it is a fact or an opinion.  You must be able to come up with a reason.  There is SOMETHING that made you think a statement was an opinion (maybe someone else could disagree, maybe there are strong adjectives that aren't provable)

teachinginroom6     5th grade

citing evidence   upper gradeAfter diving into the text, we brought this into "testing mode".  The kids looked at a sample question from the released questions.  We then, worked together to show evidence for each answer choice as to why it is a fact or an opinion.  The reason I have them do every.single.choice is because I want them to really be sure about their answer.  The state test is notorious for throwing tricky wording at them.  If they circle key words, and PROVE their answer, by DISPROVING the other 3, they will be sure to have the correct choice.

4th grade blogAfter doing a few together, I gave them a sheet of fact and opinion released questions that I cut out (literally) and pasted on a sheet.  I leave space for evidence, so they can write the actual evidence a bit bigger if they wish.    I am sorry for the blurry picture (and the fact that this isn't actually the fact and opinion sheet!)  The F/O sheet looks just like this, but with those specific questions (this is a combining sentences sheet)

This takes time for the students to do, but the effort they put in to each question is paid for when they get the correct answer.  They really do see the difference proving themselves makes, especially when they come to those tricky facts and opinions that could really go either way if you are speeding through.  Slowing down and showing evidence makes a world of difference.


  1. Thank you so much for sharing this!! I will be borrowing and using next week.


  2. I have been reading your posts for awhile now but never commented. I am amazed at how you can take a usually "boring" standard and spice it up by throwing a new twist on it. I will definitely be trying this soon!

    1. Thank you Laura! And thank you for finally posting. I am glad to have you here.

  3. I agree with the test-taking strategy of showing evidence. Unfortunately, this year, our test is timed (new test in our state) and I'm very worried about it, because our kids won't have much time to think about the text and show evidence. Especially my slower readers - they'll have to go more with their gut instinct ifthey're running out of time, and it makes me sick! Such a terrible habit to build. Aaaaauuugh the test. And thanks for your comment on my blog the other day!
    Buzzing with Ms. B

    1. We used to have timed tests as well. Since they gave us unlimited time, the strategy that the kids use is SO much better! I am sorry your kids have to rush :( So unfair to them.

  4. This is a great post! Do you mind if I share it out on my new tutoring blog? It's just getting started and I haven't pushed it for traffic yet.
    Adrianne Meldrum

  5. Great ideas! I'll definitely be using these. Thanks for sharing!


  6. I absolutely love your ideas and posts! I modified some of your ideas and implemented them into my classroom. You are an inspiration and I am so glad I stumbled upon your blog (by way of pinterest ;)).

    In regards to this post, I noticed you have used the released test questions. I teach fifth grade in California, but did not recognize the test released questions that you gave to your students for the fact and opinion activity. Did you use other state released questions? I already used up the CA release questions throughout the year and need more practice before the big TEST. Any suggestions for more practice that are formatted the same as the TEST???

    Thanks again,
    Sandy del Mundo

    1. Good eye, Sandy! Like you, I have gone through all of the released questions on Fact and Opinion so for that particular question, we used CA Measuring up. If you haven't seen it I *HIGHLY* recommend it. It is written in CST style, with questions that very much mirror those on the released questions. It is set up by standard, and it just really, really good.


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