Lesson plan

What Does the Author Think?

Can you tell what the author thinks about this subject? What do *you* think about it? Use this resource to help your students recognize the author's point of view and establish their own.
Need extra help for EL students? Try the Identify and Develop an Opinion pre-lesson.
EL Adjustments
Grade Subject View aligned standards

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Need extra help for EL students? Try the Identify and Develop an Opinion pre-lesson.

Students will be able to distinguish their own point of view from that of the author of a text.

The adjustment to the whole group lesson is a modification to differentiate for children who are English learners.
EL adjustments
(3 minutes)
  • Ask students to share their opinion about waking up early. Facilitate a Think-Pair-Share by having students think about their opinions, then talk with a partner before sharing with the whole group.
  • Explain that authors have a certain point of view, or viewpoint, as they are writing. They leave clues in the text in the form of opinions and beliefs that tell us what they really think about the topic. Since they do not come right out and tell us their thoughts most of the time, we have to infer by looking at the text evidence.
  • Read aloud the learning objective and have students repeat it.
(15 minutes)
  • Introduce the key terms for the lesson by writing the word and a student-friendly definition on the board. Display this information throughout the lesson for student reference.
    • opinion: what you think about something or somebody
    • point of view: a way of thinking about or looking at something
    • viewpoint: an opinion
    • infer: to make a guess based on facts and observations
  • Explain that author's viewpoint is the way an author looks at a topic or the ideas that are in the text. The author chooses certain words as they write, and good readers are able to recognize, or notice, the author's point of view by reading closely.
  • Introduce the nonfiction picture book that you will read aloud, such as Wangari's Trees of Peace: A story from Africa by Jeanette Winter. Preview the book by giving a short synopsis of what it's about. Ask students to think about the answers to the following questions during the read aloud: "What is the author's viewpoint? What clues show the author's opinions and beliefs on the topic?"
  • Read aloud the text, stopping to prompt students to think about the author's opinion. Point out clue words that help you infer the author's viewpoint.
  • Draw a four column T-Chart on the board with columns labeled as Book, Author's Viewpoint, Text Evidence, My Viewpoint. Model completing the information based on the nonfiction read aloud.
(15 minutes)
  • Divide the class into small groups and give each student a copy of the worksheet The Author's Viewpoint vs. My Viewpoint. Go over the information at the top to review the key terms.
  • Guide the class through the first example by reading the text about manatees aloud. Ask students to talk about the author's viewpoint and the text evidence, and then call on nonvolunteers to share what their group discussed. Model writing down the author's viewpoint and text evidence on the teacher copy of the worksheet, and ask students to record it on theirs.
  • Instruct students to individually think about their viewpoint on the topic and record it in the last column. Have the class share out.
  • Give groups time to complete the sections on the graphic organizer for the second passage about soda. Direct them to write down the author's viewpoint and text evidence together, but to independently complete the box about their own viewpoint.
  • Scramble the groups and have students share what they wrote down in the graphic organizer. Allow them to discuss, defend, and refine answers as needed. Go over them as a class and correct any misconceptions about the text or process.
(15 minutes)
  • Instruct students to complete the remainder of the graphic organizer on The Author's Viewpoint vs. My Viewpoint.


  • Guide a small group of students through the Guided Practice task.
  • Provide sentence frames for students to use when sharing answers.


  • Instruct advanced students to read two nonfiction texts on the same topic by different authors. Have them determine the author's viewpoint of each text with text evidence. Then, have them compare the authors' viewpoints.
(7 minutes)
  • Have students share their answers with a partner from the independent work on the worksheet The Author's Viewpoint vs. My Viewpoint.
  • Ask students to demonstrate if their viewpoint about the topic was the same or different from the author's. If they agree with the author, students should give a thumbs up. If they disagree with the author, they should give a thumbs down. Engage the class in a discussion.
(5 minutes)
  • Ask students to work in small groups to think about the types of clues that indicate an author's viewpoint. Have them record ideas on whiteboards.
  • Allow the groups to share out, and add to student answers as needed. Explain that understanding an author's viewpoint helps us better understand the text because the author has specific information they want us to know.

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