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Distinguishing between information and opinion

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Age group

Students ages 8 and 9

When

March and April

Time required

8 hours

Broad areas of learning

Environmental Awareness and Consumer Rights and Responsibilities

Media Literacy

Activity summary

After reading informational and opinion pieces, the students will have learned to distinguish between objective and subjective information. Next they write pieces of their own that contain both types of content. They then read classified ads from the newspaper or composed by their teammates to identify the subjective information contained within.

Financial skills

  • Comparing objective and subjective information
  • Distinguishing between needs and wants

Competencies

Subject-specific competencies targeted

Subject

Competencies

Progressions of learning

English
Language Arts

  • To write self-expressive, narrative and information based-texts (QEP 2011)s

  • To read and listen to literary, popular, and information-based texts. (QEP 2011)

  • Use all the concepts developed in class.

Cross-curricular competencies

  • Uses information
  • Exercises critical judgment

Preparation

Students learn to distinguish between objective and subjective information, and write their own texts containing these 2 types of content.

 

Time required

60 minutes

Task 1

Distinguish between objective and subjective information

Task 1 objective

By the end of this task, students will learn to recognize objective statements present in information texts and subjective information present in opinions pieces.

Instructions

  • Give the students the 2 texts for the worksheet Informational Texts and Opinion Pieces and read them together as a class.
  • Ask the students to react to the texts they read with a show of hands: What surprised them? Which text did they react to most? List their comments on the board.
  • Create teams of 2 students and ask them to list what they noticed about the 2 texts.
  • Present the teaching material comparing the 2 types of texts.
  • Ask the students to look at the 2 texts again and identify the distinguishing features of each.

Development

Students learn to distinguish between informational texts and opinion pieces by writing their own content.

 

Time required

Varies, depending on the theme. In class: 15 minutes

Task 1

Find information on a topic

Task 1 objective

By the end of this task, students will be able to find information on a specific topic in order to write an informational text and an opinion piece.

Instructions

  • Create teams of 2 students.
  • Explain to the students that they are going to become “journalists for a day” and write 2 articles on the same topic using 2 different approaches, one informational text and one opinion piece.
  • Give the students some suggested topics for their articles.
  • Suggest that they take notes using the Observation Chart.

 

Time required

3 hours 20 minutes

Task 2

Write an informational text and an opinion piece on the same topic

Task 2 objective

By the end of this tasks, students, while working in pairs, will write 2 articles on the same topic using two different approaches. One informational text and one opinion piece, while using the features that characterize each writing style.

Instructions

  • Give the teams time to write their articles in class.
  • Each student writes one type of article, then gives it to his or her teammate who will add to or correct the information. The student who reviews the opinion piece adds subjective information as needed. The student who reviews the informational text ensures that it does not contain subjective statements.
  • Students then make final corrections to their own articles.
  • Each team reads their 2 texts to the rest of the class.
  • The students in the audience identify the informational article and the subjective one, justifying their choices.

 

Time required

45 minutes

Task 3

Analyze clasified ad content

Task 3 objective

By the end of this task, students will be able to distinguish between subjective and objective content in a classified ad.

Instructions

  • Give students the Classifieds worksheet.
  • Read the ads with the students.
  • After each ad, give the students time to identify objective (factual) words or groups of words and subjective (opinion based) words or groups of words. Suggest that the students use 2 different colours to highlight the 2 types of content in the ad.
  • Ask the students to state which words or groups of words are objective, and which are subjective.

Evaluation

Each student writes a classified ad, then the class compares all the ads and distinguishes between their objective and subjective statements.

 

Time required

90 minutes

Task 1

Write a classified ad

Task 1 objective

By the end of this task, students will be able to write a classified ad containing objective and subjective statements about a consumer product.

Instructions

  • Ask the students to write a classified ad to sell an item they really like.
  • Tell the students that the ad must include at least 4 objective statements and one subjective statement.
  • Evaluate the students’ work 1 ad a time, asking for changes as needed, then print the ads so others can read them.
  • Ask the students to highlight the subjective statement in each ad.

Reinforcement

Students identify objective and subjective newspaper contentx.

 

Time required

Depends on how many items students read

Instructions

  • Bring newspapers to class.
  • Go through the papers and compare different types of content: facts, opinions, editorials.
  • Identify the objective and subjective content.

Teaching material

  • Newspapers