After this activity students will be able to determine the author’s purpose when reading text.
Introduction (10 minutes)
- Ask students if they know why writers write. Example: Do you know whether or not authors have different reasons for writing? Do authors have a purpose in their writing? What could that be?
- Watch Author's Purpose by Plattsmouth Elementary School.
- Discuss what the video was about by drawing a big pie on the board and "cut" it into three pieces. Write "persuade", "inform", and "entertain" in each piece of your pie. Underline the first letter of each word to spell PIE.
- Start by defining these three words: An author aims to persuade their audience when they want to convince them of something. An author aims to inform their audience when they want to teach them something. An author aims to entertain their audience when they want to amuse them.
- Let students know that these goals are the author's purpose.
- Tell students that they will be going on a gallery walk, which is usually done in a museum where art is displayed, but this time instead of art, they will be looking at authors' pieces of writing to determine the purpose of each piece.
Explicit Instruction/Teacher Modeling (10 minutes)
- Read the Starfish Facts worksheet or any other short text of your choosing.
- Ask students what the author's purpose is with this text. With your class, use the process of elimination to figure out if the author meant to persuade, inform, or entertain their reader.
- Display the graphic organizer to students and start filling in the boxes: write the name of the article, then what you think the author’s purpose is, and finally the evidence from the text that suggests whether the text is to persuade, inform, or entertain.
Guided Practice/Interactive Modeling (10 minutes)
- Read the title of a familiar story to your students, along with the first few lines of the story. Fill out the graphic organizer with help from your students.
- Tell students that they will be working in groups as they go through the gallery walk. Inform them that they must read the articles and text carefully, decide what the author’s purpose is, and find evidence from the text that suggests that the purpose is to persuade, inform, or entertain.
Independent Working Time (25 minutes)
- Distribute a graphic organizer to each group member and tell them that they are responsible for filling out their own graphic organizer but they are to work cooperatively to come up with the answers.
- Allow students to walk around the classroom and read the text in their groups. Tell them that they should not take longer than 3-5 minutes in each gallery section.
- As students work in their groups walk around managing time and assisting groups that need help.
- Enrichment: For students who need a greater challenge, ask them to extend the author’s purpose and to create their own writing piece using one of the texts they saw on their gallery walk as a model.
- Support: For students who need support, have them read titles of a text and ask them to try to infer what the author’s purpose is just by looking at the clues in the title.
- An interactive board could be used to show the small movie clip.
Related Books and/or Media
- VIDEO: Author's Purpose by Plattsmouth Elementary School
Assessment (10 minutes)
- Review students' graphic organizers to check for understanding of the three different purposes.
Review and Closing (5 minutes)
- Remind students that the reason authors write is called the author’s purpose. Explain to the students that the author’s three reasons for writing are as easy as PIE (Persuade, Inform, and Entertain). Also remind the students that knowing the reason that an author writes is important because it helps you choose books for reading, researching, or doing reports.