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Identifying Fact and Opinion:
Dinosaur Fossils

Does your state have an official fossil? Read this student speech about changing New Mexico's fossil.

New Mexico's official fossil, the dinosaur Coelyphysis, should be replaced. A series of digs near Albuquerque beginning in the 1980s has unearthed the remains of a huge planteating dinosaur. It is named Seismosaurus for the great earth shaking that probably occurred when it walked. Paleontologists are still looking for bones and putting the pieces of this exciting puzzle together. Using the backbones they have found, scientists have estimated its length at 150 feet. Because Seismosaurus is the longest dinosaur in the world, it would be a better official fossil for the state.

1. Underline with a red crayon facts you find in the passage.

2. Underline with a blue crayon any opinions you find.

3. Circle with a green crayon words that signaled an opinion.

Complete questions 4-6 on the back of this sheet.

4. Write a "fact" that you would want to check for accuracy.

5. Sometimes historians and scientists make educated guesses based on clues they find, but they can't really prove something is true. Find an example of that in this speech.

6. Why do people use facts to try to convince you to share their opinions?

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