I love picture books with personality and Rot The Cutest in the World is full of just that!
Rot is a story of a mutant potato who isn’t short on confidence UNTIL he starts thinking he should be just like everyone else. The story is illustrated so incredibly well and the lesson/theme is perfect for kids of all ages.
Rot is great to use as a mentor text for several different concepts & skills (theme, character traits, making predictions, etc.), but for today’s ELA lesson we’re focusing on Fact & Opinion (with a heavy emphasis on the opinion piece.). Feel free to check out this video to see this lesson from start to finish.
I’ll use this mini poster to reinforce fact and opinion.
After reading the story, we’ll use this printable to find three facts about the book itself. For example…we can prove that the book is written by Ben Clanton, the main character is ROT, and Rot is a mutant potato (just to name a few! There are plenty MORE!) Then I’ll prompt the kids to write an opinion about the story as well. It can be about the characters, the story itself…something to help them distinguish between the two.
These fact & opinion printable cards are great for reinforcing this skill as well. The idea here is to prompt your kids to observe the picture on each card carefully and then make 1-2 fact and opinion statements about it. Of course, they can always make more if they have a lot to say.
Another meaningful way for kids to practice making opinions is with this Opinion Comparison activity. Encourage your kids to work with a partner/friend/family member for this one. Your child(ren) and their partner will discuss their opinions about the objects listed on their recording sheet. If they’re able, they can record their opinions and then determine if they share the same feelings about that object. I included four different versions of this activity to give kids multiple opportunities to work with different partners while practicing this skill.
In addition, this Opinion Interview is another opportunity for kids to practice their understanding of this comprehension skill. They’ll simply choose a friend/family member to “interview” and ask them the questions listed.
I always love incorporating games when I can and this multi-player Racing For Facts game is great for helping kids to distinguish between fact and opinion statements. Simply print out the fact & opinion statement cards, cut, and place in a deck. Instructions are printed on the game board and they can use anything for counters (beans, mini erasers, etc.).
Here’s another variation I included using the same fact and opinion statement cards. This is a two-player game perfect for either home or the classroom and also helps kids to distinguish between facts and opinions as well.
This digital fact & opinion resource is also a great option for independent practice within the classroom or for distance learning reinforcement.
If you know me well, you know that I love a good hands-on visual. A craft of some sort to tie-in with the lesson. Encourage your kid(s) to create a different mutant vegetable similar to Rot using these veggie printables. They can design their very own mutant veggie and write about it, too.
Here are a few ideas:
– Write a short paragraph/story from the perspective of the veggie
– Write three facts about your mutant veggie.
– Write an opinion about your mutant veggie.
– Write an encouraging letter to your veggie explaining why you think it’s the cutest in the world
Of course this isn’t an exhaustive list, rather a great starting point instead.
Speaking of doodles and drawings, I would highly suggest visiting the author’s website. Ben Clanton has some really cool printable coloring pages on his website as well as directed drawings and art project tutorials on his Instagram page. Not only is he a fantastic author, but he’s an amazing illustrator as well!
A few other ideas to incorporate after reading…
– Use this story to introduce the concept of determining theme/author’s message. (Possible ideas: be yourself; everyone is special/unique; be confident; etc.)
– Discuss Rot’s character traits (inside/outside) and write about them.
– Focus on adjectives/descriptive words (describe Rot)
– Discuss how Rot thought about himself compared to how the other characters felt about him. Use this discussion to introduce synonyms and antonyms (confident vs. shy; cute vs. ugly; etc.).
These fact and opinion videos would also be great to incorporate into your learning ,too!
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