Lesson 3
Take Action - Writing Persuasively

Facts and Opinions in


After this lesson, students will be able to:

  • Identify use of facts and opinions in commentaries
  • Evaluate the effectiveness of facts and opinions in commentaries


Students reread commentary examples, identifying the author’s use of facts and opinions by marking up the text.

Guiding Questions:

  • How do writers of commentaries use facts and opinions to make a point?

Recommended Time:

45 minutes

Common Core State Standards:




Commentary packet that contains the following:

  1. Reading/Research: Writing Commentaries Handout
  2. Copies of the following commentaries and/or appropriate substitutes:

“Starve, Get Aid, Repeat”  by Craig and Marc Kielburger
“Put Your Money Where Your Mouths Are”  by Nick Kristof
“Kyleigh’s Law’ is not the Answer for Connecticut’s Young Drivers”  by Brian Koonz


Technology Required:



Lesson Design:

  • Explain that students will be working with a partner, rereading commentary examples from their Commentary Packet.
  • Students read through selected examples twice. The first time, they highlight or underline places in the text where the author uses facts. The second time, using a different color, they highlight or underline places in the text where the author uses opinion.
  • Partners evaluate and compare examples, noting the following:


  1. What is the ratio of facts to opinions in each commentary?
  2. How does each author integrate facts and opinions? When and where in each piece are they used?
  3. What impact do you feel facts have in each commentary? What impact do you feel opinions have in each commentary?


  • Class regroups to share. Chart one list of “Facts and Opinions in Commentary” for display in the classroom.