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The difference between news and opinion

This is a lesson, the teacher will present about the difference between opinion and news stories as well as how to determine the purpose of a piece of writing. After the presentation, students will look at examples of news and opinion writing and determine the purpose of the types of writing.


  • Students will understand the difference between opinion and news/feature writing.
  • Students will be able to determine the purpose of a piece of writing.

Common Core State Standards

CCSS.ELA-Literacy.RI.11-12.6 Determine an author’s point of view or purpose in a text in which the rhetoric is particularly effective, analyzing how style and content contribute to the power, persuasiveness or beauty of the text.



50 minutes


Slideshow: purpose

Copies of each story sample

Quiz: Purpose

Group assignment

Lesson step-by-step

1. Building background — 20 minutes

Give the presentation on how to determine the purpose of the piece of writing. Explain to students that determining the writer’s purpose helps them as readers think more critically about what they are writing.

2. Compare stories — 15 minutes

Divide the class into groups of 2-3. Pass out pairs of stories to the groups to read. Have the group members take turns reading the stories out loud and look for facts, opinions and opinion words that may help them determine the purpose of the pieces of writing. When the groups are done discussing, they need to choose a passage from each piece of writing that shows its purpose to share with the class.

3. Class presentations/quiz — 15 minutes

Distribute copies of the purpose quiz. When the groups finish choosing their passages, have them present the passages to the class; they need to tell the class the topic of both stories, then read each passage in a clear, loud voice. When groups read, class members are to write what they think the purpose of each story is. When all groups are done presenting, students can turn in their quizzes and group assignments.