Lesson plan

Exploring Author's Purpose and Point of View

We aren’t mind readers, but we can still figure out why the author wrote a text and what an author thinks about the topic! This lesson will teach your students the main purposes for writing.
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Students will be able to identify the author’s purpose and point of view of a short text.

The adjustment to the whole group lesson is a modification to differentiate for children who are English learners.
EL adjustments
(3 minutes)
  • Draw a concept web on the board and write "Purpose for Writing" in the center.
  • Prompt students to think about why people write. Accept student answers and record them in the outer circles of the concept web.
  • Read the learning objective and have students repeat it by choral reading. Share that today’s lesson will give students the chance to learn about the main reasons why authors write.
(10 minutes)
  • Explain that there are three main reasons that authors write a text, and this is called the author’s purpose. When readers know the author’s purpose, it helps them know what information to focus on in the text. Share the three main reasons and definitions:
    • An author can write to persuade, which is when they try to convince you to do, try, or believe something.
    • An author can write to inform, which is when they provide information about a topic. The author is trying to teach you something by providing facts.
    • An author can write to entertain, which is when they provide a fun story for the reader. The author wants you to enjoy what is written.
  • Distribute a copy of the Author’s Purpose Task Cards answer sheet to each student, and inform them that they will record the answers to the first two questions while they are being modeled.
  • Model reading aloud the text on task card number one and thinking aloud about the author’s purpose. Explain that you can ask yourself the following questions to figure out the author’s purpose:
    • Is this text trying to get me to do, try, or believe something? If so, the purpose is to persuade.
    • Is this text trying to teach me information by providing facts about a topic? If so, the purpose is to inform.
    • Is this text trying to entertain me by sharing a fun, enjoyable story or poem? If so, the purpose is to entertain.
  • Record the answer to task card number one on the answer sheet and remind students to copy the answer to serve as an example.
  • Extend the conversation to include discussion about point of view, which is the author's opinion about something. Ask and model answering the following questions:
    • What does the author think about the topic?
    • How can I tell?
    • What do I think about the topic? How is that the same or different than the author's point of view?
  • Repeat the modeling and think aloud process with task card number two.
(15 minutes)
  • Divide the class into small groups of three to four students and give each group a different color marker.
  • Explain to students that they will participate in a Carousel activity, in which they will rotate around the room to read a task card from the Author’s Purpose Task Cards worksheet. At each station, groups will read the task card aloud and discuss the author’s purpose and what the author thinks about the topic. They will use the marker to write their ideas about the author's purpose and evidence on the chart paper under the task card.
  • Give students three to four minutes to read, discuss, and jot notes at each station. Have them rotate to at least two stations before going over the answers as a class.
  • Instruct students to record answers on their answer sheet while the class goes over the answers and evidence.
(10 minutes)
  • Distribute the rest of the Author’s Purpose Task Cards worksheet to students.
  • Instruct them to independently complete numbers seven through eight and record their answers on the answer sheet.


  • Provide examples of texts that fit into each type of author’s purpose on an anchor chart. Include visuals.
  • Supply sentence frames for student discussion, such as, “The author’s purpose is ____ because ____.”
  • Instruct struggling readers to read aloud the task cards in the independent work section. Have them circle any words they find difficult and define them with visuals as needed.


  • Challenge advanced readers to read longer, more complex texts and identify the author’s purpose and viewpoint. Ask, “What does the author think about the topic?”
  • Have the students write the answer in a paragraph format or create a digital presentation.
(5 minutes)
  • Display the following sentences:
    • An advertisement wants me to buy the new bike. The author’s purpose is to ____.
    • The text teaches me about the frog life cycle. The author’s purpose is to ____.
    • The text has a funny character and it makes me laugh. The author’s purpose is to ____.
  • Give each student an index card and instruct them to write the answers of the words that fill in each blank in the sentences.
(2 minutes)
  • Go over the answers to the Exit Ticket with students.
  • Share that the three main reasons that authors write can be remembered with the acronym P-I-E. Accept student suggestions about what each letter of the acronym means. Share that P is for Persuade, I is for Inform, and E is for Entertain.
  • Remind students that if they can identify the author’s purpose for writing a text, they can figure out what the author wants them to pay attention to.

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