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El Paso Community College
Library Research Guides

EPCC Summer Program 2020- Evaluating Online Sources

Target audience: ages 8 through 13. Dates: June 8-26, Tuesdays and Thursdays, from 3-4pm

Fact vs. Opinion

Lesson 4: Fact vs. Opinion

A few main concepts covered:

  • opinion
  • fact
  • bias
  • evidence

Essential Question: How can I tell between fact vs opinion?

  • Guiding Questions: What is an opinion? What is a fact? What is bias? What is evidence?



Note: To address college readiness, several state and national standards have been selected, emphasizing related skills and concepts. However, while this lesson touches on several of these, not all of these will be assessed here.

Association for College and Research Libraries (ACRL). Information Literacy Competency Standards for Higher Education.


Frame(s): Authority Is Constructed and Contextual; Information Creation as a Process;

Information Has Value; Research as Inquiry; Scholarship as Conversation; Searching as Strategic Exploration

Knowledge Practices: explore the concept of authority; assess info product's fit to your info. need; be aware of how info. is published/make informed online choices; formulate questions for research...; identify contribution of specific authors/info sources; determine scope of info-seeking task

Dispositions:  keep an open mind when evaluating info,; assess info product's fit to your info. need; accept ambiguity/value of info. creation expressed in emerging formats or modes; respect the original ideas of others/see yourself as a contributor to the info. marketplace; research as exploration; research as as ongoing conversation; exhibit mental flexibility and creativity

American Association for School Librarians (AASL). National School Library Standards for Learners, School Librarians, and School Libraries (AASL Standards)  


Domain(s): Think, Create, Share, and Grow

Shared Foundation(s): Inquire; Include

Think (1. Formulating questions about a personal interest or a curricular topic. 2. Adopting a discerning stance toward points of view and opinions expressed in information resources and learning products. Etc.); Create (1. Using evidence to investigate questions. 2. Evaluating a variety of perspectives during learning activities.); Share (1. Interacting with content presented by others. 1. Engaging in informed conversation and

active debate. Etc.); Grow (1. Continually seeking knowledge. 2. Demonstrating interest in other perspectives during learning activities. Etc.).

International Society for Technology in Education (ISTE). Standards for Students and Educators


ISTE for Students: Knowledge Constructor

Students: 3a. plan and employ effective research strategies to locate information and other resources for their intellectual or creative pursuits; 3b. Students evaluate the accuracy, perspective, credibility and relevance of information, media, data or other resources; 3c. evaluate the accuracy, perspective, credibility and relevance of information, media, data or other resources; 3d. Students build knowledge by actively exploring real-world issues and problems, developing ideas and theories and pursuing answers and solutions.

Texas School Library Standards

Strand 1: Information Literacy. 1.1.0 Learners and educators use information effectively to accomplish a specific purpose; they also access and evaluate print and digital resources for their inquiry needs, academic needs, and/or personal needs; 1.1.2 Locate information • Evaluate information • Effectively use information such as state digital resources, open educational resources, and print resources; 1.2.4 show evidence of the ability to evaluate and validate information for: • Authority • Bias • Credibility • Currency • Relevance


Strand 2: Inquiry2.3.0 The school library program offers opportunities for learners to explore real world problems by interacting with relevant information in a variety of formats; 2.3.1 Inquiry projects are based on real world issues and problems; 2.3.3 Inquiry projects include the opportunity to: • Consider diverse points of view, • Use critical thinking skills, • Make informed judgments

Lesson Objectives/What am I learning? The information literate student…

  • Formulates questions about authors’ point of view, authority, accuracy, perspective, credibility and relevance of information, media, data or other resources


Learning Outcomes/Why did I learn this? [Demonstration of Learning]

  • At the end of this lesson, my students will be able to express ways to distinguish fact from opinion, by describing a process. 

Part 1. Engagement: Warm-Up/Opening/The “hook”

Teaching Strategy/Instructional Procedure: PowerPoint presentation

Learning Strategy/ Procedure: Conversing

Instructions: Share something that you heard that sounds almost true. Share your favorite fact. Share an opinion you have heard about something.  


Part 2. Direct instruction: We will work with the PowerPoint presentation.

I do: The librarian will present a series of statements.

We do: Students have to decide whether they are fact or opinion. We will also discuss bias. Next, we will look at how we can verify or disprove these claims.




Part 3. Guided Practice: Exploring fact and opinion with Elon Musk.


Elaboration: You do- Let’s take a look at these quotes from Elon Musk and break them down. Which parts are opinion? Which are fact? Which are informed opinions, and what makes it an informed opinion? What are some signal words and phrases that determine whether these statements are fact or opinion?


Part 4. (Individual / Independent Practice): Look for an “issues” article in Opposing Viewpoints. Take some time to read it over, and then identify a factual statement, an opinion, an informed opinion, and the signal words and phrases. Hopefully, your article will have all od these parts.


Part 5. Evaluation: Closing/Demonstration of Learning

Share what you read.

Ask for help, or feedback. The librarian can review concepts that are unclear. Share how your research strategy might change as a result of this lesson.




"Lesson Plan Worksheet" borrowed (and adapted) from Colorado State University, at, and, Instructional Resources, at

- by Adrian M. Spring, 2020

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