Resource Type
Completion Time
About a week
Middle School and Up
Download, Share, and Remix
Katharine Thomas
Articles will ideally be obtained from the Internet during a computer lab time but can be found in newspapers, news magazines, and, for students in high school or above, professional articles in reference libraries.
Students will need a highlighter, a colored pen, and a pencil.


This lesson is for students to be able to read an informative piece of writing and identify factual statements and statements of opinions. In this lesson, we will be focusing on local and national articles relating to climate change.

This lesson was inspired by my time in Denali looking at evidence consistent with climate change and being exposed to multiple types of literature that portray climate change concepts.


At the end of the lesson, students will know the definition of anthropogenic climate change, be able to explain the attributes of fact and opinion, and successfully analyze an informative piece of writing for evidence and opinion.

Lesson Preparation

Prior to the lesson students will have been introduced to the concept of climate change briefly. Vocabulary words such as greenhouse effect, carbon dioxide, greenhouse gases, climate, and weather will be reviewed. Anthropogenic climate change will be introduced. The class will have a discussion and be able to ask and talk about any concepts that need to be clarified. Teacher will ensure that students have all the necessary physical tools to complete the lesson successfully.


After vocabulary review and introduction of new words, students will be asked to find an article from a local or national newspaper. Students will be directed to read the article. While reading the article students will underline and define unfamiliar words in colored ink, highlight clue words/statements that tell whether statements are opinions or facts and why. Trade articles with a partner and then discuss the fact and opinion statements found in the articles as well as new words learned. At the end of the lesson, student volunteers may present their fact and opinion statements to the class. At the end of the lesson, students will be given an exit slip with questions assessing their understanding of fact and opinion.


Extension activities can include expansion to international newspapers. Students can also find an Internet video about climate change and analyze it for facts and opinions.


Online local newspapers such as Alaska Dispatch News, Fairbanks Daily News-Miner, and the Juneau Empire. The Fairbanks Daily News-Miner limits the number of articles one can view per month for free. Students may also use national online newspapers like USA Today and The Wall Street Journal.


Students will be assessed both formally and informally. Students will be observed and sporadically questioned throughout the process on facts, opinions, and vocabulary. At the end of the lesson, students have completed an exit slip showing the assessor that the concept of fact and opinion is learned along with the other objectives.


Created by Katharine Thomas created this lesson plan as a capstone project for the 2015 teacher training course entitled: Climate Change: Seeing, Understanding, and Teaching, held in Denali National Park. The course is facilitated by the Arctic Research Consortium of the U.S. (ARCUS) in partnership with Alaska Geographic and the National Park Service.

"I’m sure that I have seen another teacher use it. Thank you to all those teachers. Credit will also be given to those online resources which make available their writings for students and teachers alike to explore and read." - Katharine Thomas

File Attachments

Exit Slips


5-8 Content Standard D: Earth and Space Science: c. Earth in the solar system Content Standard F: Science In Personal and Social Perspectives: e. Science and technology in society

Standards Other


(1) National Science Education Standards
US.NSES.5-8.sci.F.e and 5-8 sci.D.c

(2) Alaska State Education Standards
Reading Standards, Reading Informational Text, Grade 6, Craft and Structure, number 4 and number 6
Reading Standards, Reading Informational Text, Grade 6, Integration of Knowledge and Ideas, number 8
Science Standard A, Grade 6, SA2.1

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