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Martin Luther King Jr.: A Fact or Opinion Activity




Subjects: Arts & Humanities, Civics, Holidays, Language Arts, Social Studies, U.S. History
Grades: 3-5, 6-8

Brief Description

A brief biography of Martin Luther King Jr. reinforces students' understanding of the difference between fact and opinion.




civil rights, critical thinking, fact, Martin Luther King, opinion

Materials Needed


Lesson Plan

Do your students understand the difference between fact and opinion? Explain to students that a fact is real or true and its truth can be verified. An opinion is a belief or judgment that cannot be verified; it may or may not be true.

If the concepts of fact and opinion are new for your students, complete the first four steps of the activity below together. If students have been exposed to the concept previously, organize them into small groups and have them complete those steps independently.

  • Choose a book or movie that all students can use as a frame of reference. Ask students to share what they know about the book or movie. Write their statements on a chalkboard, a chart, or an overhead transparency.
  • Create a simple two-column graphic organizer; labeling the columns "Fact" and "Opinion." The graphic organizer headline should reflect the title of the book or movie being discussed.
  • Read each of the students' statements about the book or movie, and ask students to determine whether the statement is a fact or an opinion.
  • Write each statement in the correct column on the graphic organizer.
  • Explain to students that they will apply their understanding of fact and opinion to a story about the life of Martin Luther King Jr.
  • Share with students a brief online biography of Martin Luther King Jr. Read aloud the biography page, and project the Internet page for all to see. If possible, print a copy of the page for each student.
  • Distribute the Martin Luther King Jr.: Fact or Opinion? work sheet and have students complete the work sheet individually or in small groups.


Students correctly identify eight of the ten statements as fact or opinion. The correct answers are: 1. F, 2. O, 3. O, 4. F, 5. F, 6. O, 7. O, 8. F, 9. O, 10. O.

Lesson Plan Source

Education World

Submitted By

Gary Hopkins

National Standards





See more lessons at Happy Birthday, MLK at

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Originally published 1/4/2002
Last updated 12/22/2014