How do I distinguish between a factual claim and a value claim?
How do I verify a claim or story?
Which sources can I rely on to verify claims?
The activities in this section take an estimated 2 hours to complete
People make claims all the time, but a claim is not necessarily a statement of truth. Some claims can be factually proven, while others are a matter of opinion or interpretation. It is easier to evaluate factual claims, but we can gather context about any claim that will help us to put it into perspective and form our own opinions.
In this lesson, students distinguish between factual claims and value claims before learning to verify claims they see online or hear from others. In the Consolidation activity, students apply these skills to claims they encounter in their daily lives.
By the end of these activities, students will be able to:
explain the difference between a factual claim and a value claim;
analyze when it is helpful to check claims;
demonstrate lateral reading skills to verify claims
fact, factual claim, opinion, value claim, verify
A Note on Formats and File Types
For the various activities, you will find different file types, including Google Forms, Microsoft Forms, Word files, and Google Docs. The content is nearly identical, but some changes were made to adapt to each format. All versions can be modified and incorporated into your current teaching methods and platforms.
Note: The Google Forms option allows students to check their work and view a walkthrough of the technique after submitting their answers. To access background information and tips for using Google Forms, please download this support document.
Review the concept of a claim. A claim is something that someone says is true or factual – but sometimes it isn’t the truth.
Explain to students they are going to play a game called ‘Three Claims’ — it is similar to the Two Truths and a Lie.
Divide students into small groups. This activity can be done in the classroom or outside, or virtually with a Google doc.
Explain to students that they will have to share one truth and one lie about themselves, along with one opinion about any topic they want. The group members will have to decide which statement is a lie, and if they agree or disagree with the opinion stated. Make sure they understand the game by providing your own examples.
Have students share their claims with the rest of the group. After each student is finished sharing their three statements, the rest of the group members will vote for which claim they believe is a lie and then vote if they agree with the opinion statement.
FUNDAMENTALS (20-25 min)
1. Using Slide Deck 3, review the following key terms: fact, opinion, factual claim and value claim.
2. Ask students to completeActivity 3.1. They will have to assess whether each claim is a factual or value claim. Afterwards, students will write their own example for each type of claim.
Teacher Note: The Forms options allows students to check their work and view a walkthrough of the technique after submitting their answers.To access background information and tips for using Google Forms, please download this support document.
CONSOLIDATION (15 min)
Ask students to summarize what they learned through the activities and to apply the skills in their own lives (Activity 3.4).
Summarize the lateral reading strategy learned today. When you would use it to help you evaluate information?
Verify two claims of your own choosing.
Describe the story/claim in one or two sentences.
List the keywords for web search
Summarize findings from two reputable sources
Determine a verdict (True/False/Complicated/Unknown)
Afterwards, consider having students exchange claims or stories with a classmate and have them compare their findings and verdicts.
Modifications for Remote and Blended Learning
Below are suggested modifications for breaking up the lesson and using a blend of asynchronous and synchronous learning.
Assign the online version of the ‘Skills’ activity (Google Form, Microsoft Form). This online version incorporates all the videos and Activity 3.2.
Ask students to practice the skills using Activity 3.3. (Google Form, Microsoft Form, Google Doc). The Forms versions contains answer keys and walkthroughs. If using a different format, please provide students with the answer key when they have completed the activity.