Difference Between Fact & Opinion: Lesson for Kids

Instructor: Heather Jenkins

Heather has a bachelor's degree in elementary education and a master's degree in special education. She was a public school teacher and administrator for 11 years.

Pizza is a type of food. Pizza is the best food. Although these two sentences are about the same topic, they are very different--one is fact and the other is opinion. In this lesson, you will learn about the difference between a fact and an opinion.

Just The Facts Ma'am

Many years ago, there was a show on television about a detective. Whenever the detective would interview witnesses to a crime, he would always say: 'Just the facts ma'am.' He wanted to know what they saw and knew to be true about the crime, not what they thought or felt.

A fact is something that can be proven true. For example, a fact could be: 'Earth is round.' It is a fact because there is evidence to prove it is true. You can read about it in an encyclopedia or look at pictures taken from satellites and physically see that Earth is round.

Look at the picture of a bicycle below. Can you come up with a fact about the picture?

A bicycle

Some facts for the picture above could include:

  • It has two wheels.
  • It has pedals.
  • It is a type of transportation.

In My Opinion

Have you ever heard of a taste test? Many times, when companies are trying out a new product or flavor of food or drink, they invite people to come and try it out. The company sets up its product alongside a similar product by a different company, and people taste both. The taste testers then get to give their opinions about which product was better.

An opinion states a person's or group's thoughts, feelings, or beliefs about something. It cannot be proven true, because it relies on the feelings, thoughts, or beliefs of a specific person or group. For example, an opinion would be: 'Space is awesome!' You know this is an opinion because it tells you about a feeling or belief. Someone may think space is awesome, but another person might think it is not. It cannot be proven true.

Opinions can include words like 'think,' 'feel,' or 'believe.' In a commercial, a famous athlete might say: 'I believe Brand Y Sports Drink is the best drink for soccer players!' Unless the sports drink has been tested by every soccer player, compared to every other drink, and then found to be the best drink, it is just an opinion of the athlete.

Look at the picture of cookies below. Can you come up with an opinion about the picture?

A plate of cookies

Some opinions for the plate of cookies could include:

  • They are the best cookies ever.
  • They taste awful!
  • They look delicious.

How To Know The Difference

Sometimes, it is difficult to determine if a statement is a fact or an opinion. To help determine the difference, you can ask two simple questions:

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