Children are quick to recognize unfairness. When someone is teasing, bullying or accusing another, kids see it clearly. Words can hurt. Opinions can hurt. Conflicts often mix up facts and opinions.
Separating facts and opinion isn’t easy. Yet that’s the job of the reporter — to get to the bottom of a conflict, to report the facts, and especially to report the sources of opinions. The published news report needs to be a fair representation of what happened and how it happened — who said what, where, when ... and especially why.
To help children learn to detect the difference between facts and opinion, Kid Scoop began publishing a column called Reporter’s Corner in the Aug. 29 weekly page, now appearing in more than 300 newspapers. These media literacy activities in Reporter’s Corner are designed to develop the foundational skills in media literacy. These higher-level reading comprehension skills prepare all children for middle and high school ... and life.
Reporter’s Corner provides sparkling activities that involve reading and writing who, what, when, where, why and how facts. With these skills, children will learn the basic steps of analysis and evaluation ... beginning with the facts.
Are these activities fun? Of course! Vicki Whiting, the creator of Kid Scoop, began as a third-grade teacher who based her reading lessons in class on fun. She knew that children learn best when they are fully engaged in learning, and enjoying the process is crucial. That spirit of smart fun has continued in Kid Scoop for nearly 30 years of publishing.
Family members at home will find Reporter’s Corner a way to challenge each other to find both facts and opinions in news articles in your hometown newspaper. Which is which? Is it a fact? Is it an opinion? Which words are facts? Which words are opinions? Wow! I can almost hear the debates floating out the kitchen windows!
Teachers will enjoy the debates in the classroom that stimulate reporting on school activities. Did the kids find out all the facts? Did they attach a name to each quote from a source? Which team wins this week’s reporting fairness challenge? What story in your hometown newspaper had the most facts? The most opinions?
Was it fair? Or not! Reporter’s Corner helps your young readers deepen their reading skills.