This is part of the Norman Rockwell integration blog series. To gain access to all the blogs in this series, click the tag “Norman Rockwell”.
You are encouraged to try out these activities and to comment on the blogs, activities and ideas. You might even find that you can share other ways to integrate Rockwell into what you do! Your voice and ideas matter!
ACTIVITY – Fact and Opinion
In this activity, students will need to search for details in the paintings that can be stated as facts and opinions. You can be as simplistic or complex as you want with this activity. Here are some examples:
For facts, students may make simple statements such as, “Her shirt is red,” or, “The dog is barking.” In time, you may challenge students to search for statements that would need to be proven or disproven with more research. For example, using Rockwell’s painting Mysterious Malady, a statement might be, “The boy is pouring water into the spoon,”or, “The boy is pouring medicine into the spoon.” In either case, you are stating a fact, but the type of liquid the boy is pouring would need to be researched and the statement determined true or false.
Opinions may be found within the painting (from a character's point of view) or you may find that you are making opinions about the painting. Taking the painting Mysterious Malady again, an opinion may be, "The dog needs my help," or "The boy is acting rediculous." Opinions the viewer may have about the painting could be, “The boy is a caring person,” “Caring for your dog is important,” “Dogs should have a box to sleep in when they are tired,” “Stools are not comfortable to sit on,” or, “Suspenders make you look cool!”
You can get into more complexity with opinions when talking about valid and invalid opinions. For example, the statement, “The boy is a good caregiver,” could be supported with evidence in the painting that would make it a valid opinion. An opinion such as, “The fierce dog is waiting to make his move on the boy,” is invalid since there is little in the painting that would support the idea that the dog is fierce.
Procedure: (review/short version)
- Have students look closely at the painting and allow for some time for first impressions and conversations about the characters and the situation.
- Ask students to take a closer look at the painting and state the prompt depending on what activity you are doing.
- After a short introduction to the activity, invite students to work in small groups or on their own with a new painting. You may want students to complete the WORKSHEET.
Worksheet link: http://theinspiredclassroom.com/Rockwell%20fact%20opinion.pdf
Implementation Ideas: (review from last activity)
- Have a copy of a painting for each student. (They do not have to be the same.)
- Give students a copy to use in small groups.
- Place copies of paintings around the room and have students do the activity while traveling from piece to piece in an “around the world” format.
- Do a shared lesson or activity with your whole class or with a small group.
- Create a center in your room where students can visit and complete the activity.
Extensions and Variations:
- Have students write statements (facts and opinions) on one side of the t-chart, give it to a peer and have that person write in the second column whether the statement is a fact or opinion.
- Have students write their statements on separate strips of paper. Students hand their pile to a peer and have them sort the statements into facts and opinions.
- If individual or small groups of students are writing facts and opinions for the same painting, have them compare papers or piles of statements.
- If individuals or small groups of students are writing facts and opinions for different paintings, try having students match the statements to the painting. Display all the paintings used. Put all the statements from all the groups into a pile, pull a statement and have students guess which painting the statement is referring to as well as if it is a fact or opinion.
- If all students’ or groups’ statements are in a pile, redistribute the statements randomly and have groups of students sort the statements into two piles or columns: facts and opinions.
Next Blog (due out on Thursday, January 14, 2010) – Next activity and worksheet to use – Storytelling
Make a Comment - We want to hear from you. What do you think of this activity? Any extension or variation ideas? Comments are welcomed and encouraged.