Fact and opinion in reading comprehension

fact and opinion in texts

Some texts presented to your child focus on the difference between facts and opinions. The writers often look for the edge between a fact and an opinion. So if your child makes a mistake regarding a fact and opinion in reading comprehension, that’s no problem.

However, a child can easily recognize it by looking at the verbs. For example in the sentence: the man is wearing a blue coat. This is a fact. The words blue and jacket have been defined fairly clearly in the past. Problem arises of course if the person in the story is color blind. Then a general fact can still turn into an opinion.

However, with some shades of blue, the color may be more green or more gray. The facts then become opinions.

“In the Netherlands we are used to twisting facts and opinions and that is confusing. Not only for children but adults. This is apparent from the various talk shows.” I have just stated here opinions that can also be described as facts. So you see that the boundaries are stretchable.

Facts in a story are usually clearly defined. Opinions color the story.

Recognizable opinion verbs

Verbs like “find”, “think”, “appear” are easy for a child to recognize. When you say “I think that’s a nice coat” or “I think it’s broken” In both cases, there is no question of a fact. With the verb “to be”, fact and opinion are already confused. For example “It’s a nice jacket” The jacket is a fact. The word beautiful is an opinion.

Lawyers and journalists

Lawyers are good at presenting their opinions as facts in the media. It is always nice for a lawyer to be given speaking time in public, but often his sentence starts with “I think ….” For example, “I think the ruling did not take into account the fact that it was dark”. The lawyer then gives his opinion.

Have you ever read a page of a newspaper that deals with your specific field? If so, then you understand that you should not believe everything that is printed in the newspaper. Reading facts is not a fun story to read. It will therefore not sell. And a journalist is eventually paid because the newspaper is sold. The worst are always the headlines. These are often written in the trend of an opinion.

Mixing up opinions and facts sells better. A newspaper has a specific target group and therefore fits in seamlessly with that opinion. Facts sells poorly. Opinions sell great.

A good example is a report about a football match. The facts are the names of the players, in which minute the goal was scored and the final result. Facts can therefore be written down in a few lines. But then you are left with a short newspaper. The question is whether it sells. The journalist writes a long story around it. Even give the players a score. I don’t think you can get a better example of an opinion.

Adv. reading comprehension

Group 7 elementary school

Group 8 elementary school

Explaining opinions and facts to your child

In fact, adults already find it difficult to stick to facts. Opinions are easier to bend to our advantage. I always keep it simple myself. This is a painting. Do you like it?

PS: a large part of this post is an opinion. Even I struggle with facts and opinions ­čÖé

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