Lesson Plan

Examining Author's Purpose in a Nonfiction Text

This lesson will help students identify the author's point of view and purpose for writing an informational text.
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Need extra help for EL students? Try the Learning About Text Features pre-lesson.
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Need extra help for EL students? Try the Learning About Text Features pre-lesson.

Learning Objectives

Students will be able to identify the main purpose of a text, including what the author wants to answer, explain, or describe.

The adjustment to the whole group lesson is a modification to differentiate for children who are English learners.
EL adjustments


(10 minutes)
Finding the PurposeThe Ocean
  • Get out a variety of nonfiction books to provide students with concrete examples of different reasons an author writes a nonfiction book. For example, display a book that explains how to do something, a book that explains or informs, a book that entertains, and a book that persuades someone to believe something.
  • Show the students the covers of the books and ask them what they all have in common. Illicit ideas from the students by turning the pages of the books, and bring attention to the fact that many nonfiction books have real photographs.
  • Explain to students that nonfiction books, or texts, are about real life and authors write them for different reasons.
  • Show the students the covers of at least four nonfiction books, and allow them to make guesses about why the author wrote the book.
  • Write the following learning objective on the board in student friendly language: "I can identify the main idea of a nonfiction text, including why the author wrote the text!"
  • Read the learning objective aloud and ask students to choral chant the learning objective back to you.


  • Define nonfiction in student's home language (L1).
  • Provide a word bank in English and L1 to help students answer the prompts.

Intermediate: Provide students with the following sentence starter: I think the author wrote the book because ________.

Related Guided Lesson

Informational Text 1

4 games
2 interactive stories
5 printable worksheets
View Guided Lesson
second grade
Subject Reading & Writing