I started by making a t-chart on the board, and brainstorming about the difference between a fact and an opinion. Amy at Eclectic Educating has some great ideas about how to teach F&O. Since it had been covered already in their mainstream classes, they had a general idea of the vocabulary.
So we watched this (and sang along, of course!):
The next day, I had them make their own t-chart in their notebooks with fact and opinion vocabulary. When they were done, I had them each write one fact. They read them aloud, and I made sure to ask, "Can you prove it 100% to everybody in the whole entire world?" If it couldn't be
proven- proved? (I don't know) they had to highlight it and drag it over to their opinion side. We did the same thing for opinions. Everyone wrote one and shared it- some were really great! "Can you prove that Mrs. M-C is the beautifulest teacher in the world? No? Good- that's an opinion!"
Well, I thought we had it down. The following day, we started with a great game from Arthur that we played in pairs.
That's where it started to go downhill. We moved on to a passage from our study of Black History Month, and followed up by attempting these questions in pairs.
I quickly learned that they were great at writing their opinions, but when it came to reading or listening, they could not tell the difference. So we moved on to this website from the state of NY.
This one was better, because it used targeted vocabulary such as believe, like, and should. That's fantastic, but the reality is that not all opinions use that vocabulary. That's what makes it so hard for my kids.
Practice makes good, right? So practice we did.
We practiced with this fun sort from http://growingfirsties.blogspot.com/2013/02/ideas-and-eyes-pleasecommon-core-crunch.html.
We practiced with these great dinosaur activities from http://amber-polk.blogspot.com/
They worked really hard this week, and I am really proud of them- this is not an easy skill to master. We're not done with our friends F&O, and I have a strange feeling we'll be visiting them again later this spring, but we need to move on!