This trimester our designated writing focus is informative writing. Not narrative, mind you, informative. Hmmmmmm. To help prepare the students to do some informative writing we are spending this week distinguishing between fact and opinion. Surprisingly, the class is doing pretty well!
On Monday I introduced the terms fact and opinion and we practiced writing a few examples of each. Yesterday, we focused on writing facts. I printed out some clip art (KPM Doodles) of a shoe, a tree, an apple, a cupcake, and a dog and glued them to some posters (thanks A for brainstorming this idea!).
I placed a poster at each table group and explained that the picture was the "topic" that they were to write about. I gave each student a blue marker and had them write one fact on each poster. To manage this activity sanely, I had the students rotate from one table to the next, on my cue. This worked really well and they loved it!
Once they made their way through all the posters, we looked at each one individually and discussed the sentences that they wrote. To check for understanding, I had them show a thumbs up if a statement was indeed a fact and thumbs down if it was an opinion (forgetting that I had made some double sided paddles they could have used-duh!). Generally speaking, they did very well sticking to the facts. Now, if I could just get them to remember to use a capital letter at the beginning and a period at the end!
Today, I brought out those same posters and gave each student a red marker. They rotated around the room like they did yesterday, but used their red marker to write opinions about each topic. We discussed each poster and the statements written on them, using our paddles this time (which I forgot to take a picture of...seriously, what is it with these paddles?). Again, they did a good job with this!
We will continue to work with fact and opinion through the end of the week, but I wanted to share this activity because it took very little prep, it was highly engaging, the students really enjoyed it, and it was a great way to check for understanding. I hope you find the idea useful!