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Identifying Facts and Opinions

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Identifying Facts and Opinions
CCSS.ELA-LITERACY.W.2.1

Basics on the topic Identifying Facts and Opinions

What is a fact and an opinion? How do we identify facts and opinions? Learn all about facts and opinions with this video!

Identifying Facts and Opinions

Every day of our lives, we hear or read facts and opinions, but sometimes it is hard to tell the difference. Learn the difference between a fact and an opinion with the help of examples, fact or opinion videos and worksheets with answers!

Facts and Opinions – Definition

A fact is a piece of information that is true, and that can be proven by research. You cannot agree or disagree with a fact. For example:

It is known that caterpillars turn into butterflies.

An opinion is how a person feels or thinks about something. You can agree or disagree with an opinion. Here is an example of an opinion:

Butterflies are the most beautiful insects because they are colorful.

As you can see from the fact and opinion examples above, they can talk about the same topic, but be very different in nature. It is important to differentiate between a fact and an opinion to know what is actually true, and what is someone’s point of view.

Even though you might disagree with someone’s opinion, you still need to respect what they say. You can have a different opinion than someone else, but don’t forget to still be polite!

Identifying Facts and Opinions

When identifying fact and opinion in text, we need to look for certain clues. When we identify facts, we look for true statements that include time words (dates or time), or clue phrases: it is known or it is a fact.

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When we identify opinions, we look for adjectives and descriptive words as well as for “I” statements, such as I think, I feel, I believe. When you come across a piece of information that you are not sure about, ask yourself, can I agree or disagree with it? Because if you can, it is an opinion!

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Use this fact or opinion anchor chart to remember how to identify facts and opinions:

Identifying Facts Identifying Opinions
Time words (dates and times)

Clue phrases (it is known, it is a fact)

Can be proven by research
Adjectives and descriptive words

“I” statements

Can be disagreed with

Now let’s practice! Take a look at these facts or opinions examples: * 1) I think science fiction books are exciting and educational. * 2) The first science fiction novel was written in 1818.

Can you identify which sentence includes a fact and which – an opinion?

The first sentence includes an opinion because it uses an ”I” statement (I think), and adjectives such as exciting and educational. Also, someone who doesn’t like science fiction books, can disagree with this opinion.

The second sentence describes a fact. It includes a date (1818) and it can be easily proven by research.

Identifying Facts and Opinions – Summary

Let’s review what we have learned about identifying facts and opinions.

  • You can identify facts by looking for true statements that include time words or certain clue phrases.
  • You can identify opinions by looking for ”I” statements and descriptive words.
  • Facts are truth and opinions are something that we can either agree or disagree with.

Now you can identify whether something is an opinion or a fact. If you want more practice, check out our fact and opinion video for kids, fact and opinion activity, and download fact and opinion worksheets for the second grade.

Frequently Asked Questions about Facts and Opinions

What is the difference between a fact and an opinion?
What are examples of fact and opinion sentences?
Why is it important to distinguish between fact and opinion?

Transcript Identifying Facts and Opinions

Ernie and Jane have posted on social media asking their followers to send in facts about American holidays! "Ernie, it looks like our followers sent in facts and opinions." "Let's like only the facts!" Let's help Jane and Ernie with identifying facts and opinions. Facts and opinions are everywhere, such as in printed media like books and newspapers, on social media, and said by people. A fact is something that is true, and can be proven by research. You cannot agree or disagree with a fact. An opinion is how someone feels or thinks about certain things, and this can be agreed or disagreed with! Remember, if your opinion is different than someone else's, you still need to respect what they say! So, how can we identify facts? To identify facts, look for true statements that can include time words, likes dates and time, or clue phrases, like 'it is known', or 'it is a fact'. How can we identify opinions? To identify opinions, look for clues, such as adjectives and descriptive words, 'I' statements, such as I think, and I feel, and think, 'can I agree or disagree with it?', because if you can, it's most likely an opinion! Now that we know a little more about facts and opinions, let's help Jane and Ernie sort through their followers comments! Remember, they asked their followers to share facts about American holidays. "Here is the first one: 'I love the fireworks on the Fourth of July!'" "I wonder if that's a fact or an opinion." This comment has an 'I' statement, and a verb in 'love', which shows a feeling. It is an opinion, as feelings are indicators of opinions too! Jane will continue scrolling through the comments. "Here is the next one: 'Thanksgiving is always on the fourth Thursday of November.'" "Is that a fact or an opinion?" We see time and date words here, fourth Thursday, and November. We cannot disagree with this because it is a true statement, and can be proven by looking at calendars. It must be a fact, so Jane will like the comment! "Ah, what about this comment, 'Christmas is a Christian holiday celebrated in December." Is this comment a fact, or an opinion? We see the phrase 'Christian holiday' and also a time word, 'December'. This comment is a fact, so Jane will like it! While Ernie and Jane continue checking their followers' comments, let's review! Today we learned all about identifying facts and opinions. You can identify facts by looking for true statements that can include time words, or clue phrases. You cannot argue with facts, since they can usually be proven by research. You can identify opinions by looking for adjectives and descriptive words, 'I' statements, such as I think, or I feel, and think, 'can I agree or disagree with it?'. And when someone shares an opinion, you must always respect it, even if you don't agree with them! "That was exhausting work." "Well Ernie, that's just your opinion!"

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    From Brianna, 8 months ago

Identifying Facts and Opinions exercise

Would you like to apply the knowledge you’ve learned? You can review and practice it with the tasks for the video Identifying Facts and Opinions.
  • What are facts and opinions?

    Hints

    An example of a fact is: Midnight happens at 12:00AM. This has a time word, and cannot be argued with.

    An example of an opinion is: Pizza is the most delicious food of all time! This has a descriptive word, and can be agreed and disagreed with.

    Solution

    You can identify facts by looking for true statements. These can include time words or clue phrases.

    Example: Sharks use gills to breathe underwater.

    You can identify opinions by looking for adjectives, descriptive words, or "I" statements.

    Example: I think sharks are the most interesting ocean animal.

  • Which of these is a fact?

    Hints

    Remember, a fact is something that can be proven.

    Facts can have time words and numbers involved.

    Solution

    The fact is: There are 365 days in one year. This is true and can be proven by research.

  • Is this a fact or an opinion?

    Hints

    Remember, a fact is true and can be proven.

    Remember, an opinion is something people can agree or disagree with.

    "Spiders are cool!" is an opinion, because not all people think that.

    Solution

    Humans need food and water to survive. This is a fact. It is true, and can be proven. This cannot be disagreed with.

    The best food to eat is spaghetti. This is an opinion. It is how someone thinks or feels, and others may agree or disagree.

  • Which of these are facts?

    Hints

    A fact can be proven, an opinion cannot be proven.

    Facts can have time words. For example: Christmas is on December 25th.

    There are three facts to highlight.

    Solution

    All of these are facts, because they are true and can be proven with research. Time words like October 31st, and clue words like It is known also help to identify facts.

  • Which of these is an opinion?

    Hints

    Remember, an opinion is how someone thinks or feels about something.

    An opinion can be agreed or disagreed with. Which of these statements could someone agree or disagree with?

    An example of an opinion is: Peanut butter tastes better than jelly.

    Solution

    The opinion statement is: I think plants are nice to have in your house. This sentence has an "I" statement, and the adjective, nice. This can be agreed with or disagreed with.

  • Separate the facts and opinions.

    Hints

    Remember, an opinion can include adjectives and descriptive words. You can agree or disagree with an opinion.

    Example: Math is better than Science.

    Remember, a fact is something that is true, and proven by research.

    Example: The heart pumps blood to the brain.

    Solution

    Facts can be proven: Earth is a planet, an apple is a fruit, and dogs have four legs. All these facts can be researched and proven.

    Opinions are how someone feels or thinks about certain things: The ocean is really pretty, I think going to the movies is fun, purple is the best color. These have descriptive words and adjectives, and can be agreed or disagreed with.