Activity 1: Distinguishing Fact Facts From Opinions
What are facts? Facts are phenomena that can be observed, proven, measured, and/or quantified with numbers and statistics. Facts can be viewed the same way and agreed upon.
What are opinions? Opinions are related to people's feelings, values, thoughts, senses, aesthetics, and people view them differently. Opinions are sometimes expressed with words such as, "I believe, feel, or think," "in my opinion," "in my viewpoint," "should," "ought to," etc.
Write down two fact and two opinion sentences. You can observe the people and things in your classroom, and write your sentences based on what you see. For example, "Maria is wearing glasses." "Gustave is wearing a beautiful shirt." Read your sentences aloud. The other students will label them as a fact or an opinion.
Go through Unit 3: "Cigarette Advertising" and write down 2 fact sentences and two opinion sentences. Read the sentences you selected aloud. Your classmates will discuss what makes each one factual or opinionated.
Activity 2: Facts & Opinions Continued
What makes the following sentences factual?
- Surgeon General Joycelyn Elders said that the tobacco industry spends nearly $4 billion a year on advertising.
- Elder's 314-page report, put together by government scientists and researchers, said adolescents smoked their first cigarette at 14.5 years.
- According to the graph on "Teen Smoking Rising," daily smoking among teenagers increased in 1993 1-2%.
Look at the language in "Voices Across the U.S.A." and give examples of the words that express each person's opinion. For example, Stacy Connors says "I don't think, should, I may not agree, I think," and "should remain" to express her opinion.
- Opinion words of Jack Baugher:
- Opinion words of Ervin Malcheff:
- Opinions words of Gene Thickening:
- Opinion words of Lisa Kohnke:
Activity 3: More on Distinguishing Facts From Opinions
Do the following exercise by yourself, and together as a class go ever the correct answers. Explain why you labelled each sentence a fact or an opinion.
Directions: Label each of the following sentences as a fact or an opinion. Write an "F" on the line for fact and an "O" on the line for opinion.
- ____Every day the tobacco industry is fighting against the thousands of reports about the health dangers of smoking.
- ____Life magazine has seven cigarette ads in one issue.
- ____Virginia Slims sponsors the Virginia Slims Tennis Tournament every year.
- ____Cigarette ads give the impression that smokers are "Alive with pleasure."
- ____"You've come a long way, baby."
- ____The number of outdoor billboards is 4 times higher in Black communities than in White communities.
- ____Cigarette ads appear in women's magazines.
- ____Joe Camel was created to get young people hooked on smoking.
- ____3 million Americans between the ages of 13 and 19 smoke cigarettes.
- ____Smoking cigarettes makes teenagers look sexy and successful.
Activity 4: Analyzing Cigarette Advertisements
Cut out cigarette ads from magazines and newspapers to bring to class. Using the ads included in Unit 2 and the ones you have, what are the messages about smoking which the ads get across? Use the questions below to guide your discussion about each advertisement:
- What group(s) of people (age, race, culture) is the tobacco company trying to reach?
- What is the message? "If you smoke this brand of cigarettes, you will ......"
- How is this ad misleading?
Activity 5: Writing Anti-Smoking Advertisements
Write an anti-smoking advertisement for the radio. It should be one minute long when read aloud.
In writing these ads, you may want to go to Units 4 and 5 and read about the health dangers of smoking for smokers as well as nonsmokers. With your classmates, identify the facts and opinions you put in your ad.
Read your ads aloud for the other students to comment whether your ads
are mainly factual or opinionated.
Activity 6: Conducting a Survey
Go over the directions and all items on the "Community Assessment of Tobacco Marketing and Sales" survey to make sure you understand the form and how it is to be used.
Select one store or outdoor location (such as a cab stand) in your neighborhood to see what kind of tobacco-related advertisements there are. Answer as many questions as possible on the survey.
The results of the surveys should be shared with the class, and in pairs or groups map out the location of places with tobacco-related advertisements in your city.