Facts vs. Opinions: Examples, Games & Activities

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  • 0:01 Defining Facts & Opinions
  • 0:41 Purpose in Education
  • 2:01 Teaching
  • 3:16 Reinforcing with Games…
  • 5:08 Lesson Summary
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Lesson Transcript
Instructor: Sharon Linde

Sharon has a Masters of Science in Mathematics

Being able to discriminate between facts and opinions is an important reading skill elementary students need to understand. But how do you tell the difference between the two? Luckily, there's a straightforward way to teach fact and opinion. That's a fact. Trust me.

Defining Facts & Opinions

An important part of reading comprehension is determining what a fact is and what an opinion is. To understand more completely, let's define each. A fact is a statement that is true and can be verified objectively, or proven. In other words, a fact is true and correct no matter what. An opinion, however, is a statement that holds an element of belief; it tells how someone feels. An opinion is not always true and cannot be proven. In education, children as young as kindergarten engage in conversation about fact and opinion. Why is this skill important enough to teach? Let's take a closer look.

Purpose in Education

Instructing young children on the terms and concepts of fact and opinion is a little like their emerging math skills - begin with the basics and allow for more information to come as they mature. We teach fact and opinion as a reading and analytic skill necessary for understanding and mentally processing text. Knowing the difference between fact and opinion helps readers make sense of information. Outside of reading and writing, children will come to recognize facts and opinions in their language. Hopefully, their choice of words when describing emotions or experiences will become more accurate as they grasp the nuanced nature of facts and opinions.

Instruction of facts and opinions builds on high-level thinking skills, such as explaining, proving, and defending. Examples of facts and opinions are:


  1. Dogs have fur.
  2. The Beatles were a band.
  3. The last day of school is May 22nd.


  1. Dog fur is pretty.
  2. The Beatles sang great songs.
  3. May 22nd is the best day of the year.

In reading passages, the difference between fact and opinion isn't always quite so clear. Students can identify fact and opinion in isolation accurately, so make sure to apply it to reading.


Students may encounter fact and opinion questions on standardized tests. Sometimes, they'll have to distinguish between fact and opinion statements, but often they're called upon to determine if a statement within the text is fact or opinion. Practice this skill directly by modeling as a whole group, practicing in small groups, and then allowing students to practice independently.

fact or opinion

An example of a reading passage fact/opinion question is:

  • 'Abraham Lincoln was the 16th president of the United States. He grew up in a log cabin in the state of Kentucky. He is the president responsible for the Emancipation Proclamation, the document abolishing slavery. He gave many speeches as president, and was the most eloquent president. He was assassinated on April 15, 1865.'

A question may ask students to identify the sentence that states an opinion. Can you find it?

It's the 4th sentence, stating President Lincoln is the most eloquent president.

To teach this skill, read through the passage sentence by sentence, asking if it states a true, provable fact or a belief that cannot be proven. Practice with several passages, going sentence by sentence, and ask students to defend and explain their thinking.

Reinforcing With Games & Activities

Kids learn by doing. Make fact and opinion concepts stick with games and activities. Be sure to teach the concept thoroughly before introducing games and activities; remember activities are intended to practice learned skills - not to teach. Create games that can be practiced as whole group, small groups, or individuals.

It's good to have some activities in your bag of tricks. Here are some ideas:

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