Strategies for Reading Comprehension


What Is Opinion-Proof?
Opinion-Proof is a particular application of column notes. It's designed to take the power of students' own opinions about their content and harness them as tools of learning. The basic idea is that an opinion can be put forward, but it should be a supported opinion, based on ideas, facts, or concepts found within the material being studied (or based on research that a student has done).

How Does It Work?
Two columns are set up for the basic Opinion-Proof chart. Label the left column "Opinion". Label the right column "Proof". Whatever opinion the teacher assigns or which students choose themselves is written in the left column. Then, support for that opinion is culled from the text, video, newspaper, story, or other source of content. Students can then use their Opinion-Proof charts to write a persuasive essay, compose an editorial suitable for a newspaper, or to prepare themselves for a classroom debate, among other things.

What Does an Opinion-Proof Chart Look Like?
Imagine using the following as a pre-writing activity for a persuasive essay.


President Truman was justified in resorting to the use of the atomic bomb in the final days of World War II.




  • The Japanese government and military had committed to fight to the last man.
  • The alternative to atomic bombing was an invasion of Japan, which would have resulted in enormous numbers of casualties among U.S. troops.
  • The United States was in a race to develop atomic weapons and had no idea whether or if the Japanese were also developing their own weapons of mass destruction.
  • A continuation of the war indefinitely would cost untold thousands of military and civilian deaths on both sides of the fighting.
  • A continuation of the war indefinitely would continue to drain the resources of the United States and the other Allied Powers.
  • A continuation of the war indefinitely would further delay efforts to rebuild the war-torn nations.

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