Beyond Author's Purpose ~ Analyzing Why Authors Write

I've had it with author's purpose!  Every year we say, "Why do the kids miss this on the standardized test?  It is so simple ~ PIE!"


There is so much more to author's purpose than PIE or PIE'ED.  Looking at the released questions and the standards, there is so much more to author's purpose.  According to the Virginia Standards of Learning, students have to go further than just knowing PIE or PIE'ED.

And those are just the grades I work with!  In third grade, it seems like it should be simply be PIE, but it goes beyond that and wants to know what the author is actually telling the reader.  And then in the grades following it gets fun!  The students have to understand why authors wrote certain parts of the book or passage.  From those standards, we all realized we needed to do something different.

As the reading specialist, this is one of those areas I could work with really easily, and it is something I was passionate about!  So, I created a whole entire few weeks of lessons revolving around everything author's purpose!

I started off with a program that was purchased for us to use with our students.  Now I hate to use workbooks like this, but this one covered what I needed, and, best of all, the copies were made for me ~ passages provided!  I used the Cars and Stars program by Curriculum Associates.

 It was a perfect introduction for week one!  Plus, I am starting to get rid of these boxes!

We spent the first week going through the five lessons in the book and thinking about the author's purpose.  We talked about the 5 reasons authors write {persuade, inform, entertain, explain, and describe} and how they did it in the passages we read.  It is amazing what they figured out!

After a week, we did my favorite activity and the beginning of my Beyond Author's Purpose unit.

Our district is really focusing on personalized learning this year, which I think is wonderful.  The kids need to have some choice to get them interested in learning, especially in this day and age.  So, I handed out these copies of the Highlights magazines for them to choose their own article based on what they wanted to read and could read.  {I did give them stipulations ~ nothing TOO easy!}

After they read their articles, they worked on analyzing their articles to figure out more than just the author's purpose.  Here is an example.
I was so excited that the science fair projects were still out.  We went down and looked at them to decide what the author's purpose was for some of them.  They said they were to explain and describe!  How correct!

After doing that, we worked on the task cards as a game.  They had fun doing those and figuring out the author's purpose.  It helped that I made up the passages based on things they enjoyed.  They had fun switching cards.  One group actually asked me if they could have copies of them to take home.  Ummm....yes!  {There are blackline versions too!}

After playing our game, it was time for the students to be the authors!  They picked a topic and planned it out to write about it.  After they wrote their paragraphs, they shared them with the group to decide what the author's purpose was and why.  Here are some examples.

Again, they really enjoyed doing these!  As a matter of fact, they asked to do this during the task card game.  Therefore, this idea was born!  It was amazing what they came up with and how they really enjoyed doing something so different!

So, my students and I worked hard to make author's purpose fun by analyzing it and thinking about it.

If this is something you need, you can grab your Beyond Author's Purpose unit from my Teachers Pay Teachers store by clicking {here} or on the image above.  

If you want to purchase it during the big sale on Monday and Tuesday, it will be 20% off with an extra 10% off with the code TPTCYBER.  {Thanks, Jennie from JD's Rockin' Readers for this cute graphic!}

What do you do to help your students understand author's purpose?

1 comment

  1. Thank you so much for your Beyond Pie task cards and activities!!! - Amy Bogen


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