Reading: understand the difference between fact and opinion: use resources to check facts



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"Names/Nombres" by Julia Alvarez
READING: UNDERSTAND THE DIFFERENCE BETWEEN

FACT AND OPINION: USE RESOURCES TO CHECK FACTS
In order to evaluate a work of nonfiction, you must understand the difference between fact and opinion. A fact, unlike an opinion, can be proved. An opinion expresses a judgment that can be supported but not proved. For example, the statement "The Dominican Republic is in the Caribbean Sea" is a fact that can be proved by observation. All you need to do is look at a map. The statement "The climate in the Dominican Republic is perfect" is a judgment based on the weather.
You can check facts by using resources such as


  • dictionaries

  • encyclopedias

  • reliable Web sites

  • maps

A. DIRECTIONS: Identify the following passages from or about “Names/Nombres” as fact or opinion. Write F if the statement is a fact and O if it is an opinion.

_____1. “We had been born in New York City when our parents had first tried immigration.”

_____2. The Dominican Republic is south of Bermuda.

_____3. “It was the ugliest name she had ever heard.”

_____4. “Tía Josefina . . . was not really an aunt but a much older cousin.”

_____5. “Our goodbyes went on too long.”


B. DIRECTIONS: Each statement below contains an error. Name the resource you would

consult to check the statement. (If you would consult a Web site, write the name of the site.) Then, look up the statement in that resource, and rewrite it correctly.

1. Julia Alvarez moved to the United States for good in 1962.



Fact-checking resource: _____________________ Correction: _______________________

______________________________________________________________________________

2. Julia Alvarez wrote a book called How the Alvarez Girls Lost Their Accents.

Fact-checking resource: _____________________ Correction: _______________________

______________________________________________________________________________

3. The Dominican Republic is on the same island as Cuba.

Fact-checking resource: _____________________ Correction: _______________________

______________________________________________________________________________


4. Bermuda is an island in the Caribbean Sea.

Fact-checking resource: _____________________ Correction: _______________________

______________________________________________________________________________

Names/Nombres” by Julia Alvarez

Vocabulary Builder
Word List

chaotic inevitably inscribed mistook pursue transport


A. DIRECTIONS: Write the letter of the word or phrase whose meaning is most nearly the same as the meaning of the Word List word.

1. inevitably



A. finally

B. unavoidably

C. never

D. invisibly



2. chaotic

A. confused

B. noiseless

C. tiny

D. orderly



3. transport

A. bring in

B. carry across

C. send out

D. extend



4. inscribed

A. remembered

B. sewn


C. scratched

D. written on



5. mistook

A. became lost or stolen

B. made a mistake

C. provided help

D. bragged



6. pursue

A. follow or go after

B. forget

C. dream or imagine

D. wish or hope for






B. WORD STUDY: The Latin root -scrib- or -scrip- means “to write.” Use this knowledge to answer each question.

1. What message does a doctor write when he or she prescribes something?

______________________________________________________________________________

2. A scriptorium is a special room in a monastery. What activity do the monks do in this room?

______________________________________________________________________________

3. What inscription would you probably find on a birthday card?

______________________________________________________________________________
Names/Nombres” by Julia Alvarez

Writing About the Big Question
The Big Question: How do we decide what is true?
Big Question Vocabulary

confirm decision determine evidence fact

fantasy fiction investigate opinion prove

realistic study test true unbelievable


A. Use one or more words from the list above to complete each sentence.

1. If a friend is being unfriendly, I find it ____________________ if that friend denies that he is angry at me.

2. If someone thinks I did something wrong when I didn’t, I will make an effort to ____________________that I am innocent.

3. In a friendship, people should make a(n) ____________________to be honest and open about their feelings.


B. Use at least one Big Question vocabulary word in each answer.

1. Describe how you might confirm that a friend is not angry with you.

______________________________________________________________________________

______________________________________________________________________________

2. When you find something that someone tells you is unbelievable, what do you do to get at the truth?

______________________________________________________________________________

______________________________________________________________________________
C. Complete the sentence below. Then, write a short paragraph connecting this situation

to the Big Question.

Sometimes it takes courage to show your true feelings because_____________________

______________________________________________________________________________

______________________________________________________________________________

______________________________________________________________________________

______________________________________________________________________________

______________________________________________________________________________

______________________________________________________________________________

Names/Nombres” by Julia Alvarez

Literary Analysis: Tone
The tone of a literary work is the writer’s attitude toward his or her audience and

subject. The tone can often be described in one word, such as playful, serious, or humorous. Factors that contribute to the tone are word choice, sentence structure, and

sentence length. Notice how the writer’s word choice creates a friendly, informal tone:

By the time I was in high school, I was a popular kid, and it showed in my name.

Sometimes, as in “Names/Nombres,” humorous ideas, exaggeration, and dialogue help create a casual, informal tone. Alvarez’s use of contractions, such as wouldn’t and didn’t, also adds to the informal tone.
A. DIRECTIONS: As you read “Names/Nombres,” look for details that add to the essay’s

informal, humorous tone. On the chart, write one example of each contributing factor.

Informal word: __________________________________________

Mispronunciation of Spanish: __________________________________________

Untranslated Spanish word: __________________________________________

Exaggeration: __________________________________________

Humorous idea: __________________________________________

Sentence fragment: __________________________________________

Another informal word: __________________________________________

Contraction: __________________________________________
Informal; Friendly
























B. DIRECTIONS: Read the following passage from “Names/Nombres.” Underline three

phrases or sentences that contribute to a relaxed, informal feeling. Then, rewrite the

passage using a formal tone.

At the hotel my mother was Missus Alburest, and I was little girl, as in, “Hey, little girl, stop riding the elevator up and down. It’s not a toy.”



Passage written in formal tone: ____________________________________________

______________________________________________________________________________

______________________________________________________________________________

______________________________________________________________________________

Names/Nombres” by Julia Alvarez

Enrichment: Your Own Name
What do you know about names? Choose a name you are interested in—the name of

someone in history or someone in the news whom you admire. Find out as much as you

can about that person’s name: first, middle, and last. He or she may have other names, too, such as a nickname. What can you find out about where the names come from and

what they mean?


A. DIRECTIONS: Complete this chart by writing down what you already know about the

names of the person you have chosen. Then, do some research in a library or on the

Internet to see what else you can find out about this person’s name. For example, for

whom was he or she named, and who chose the name? Finally, look up the names in a

book on names, or research the names on the Internet, and write down any additional

information you discover.


Full Name:



Name


What I Know About It

Whom Person Was Named For; Who Chose the Name and Why

Additional Information from Library or Internet Search

First:









Middle:









Last:









Other(s):










B. DIRECTIONS: In a short paragraph, describe your thoughts about names.

______________________________________________________________________________

______________________________________________________________________________

______________________________________________________________________________



______________________________________________________________________________







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