LESSON ONE: Using Details from Text to Identify Author’s purpose
o R3C The student will use details from the text to identify the author’s purpose for writing the text.
Sources of Literature
o Copy of a local newspaper, student magazine or textbook
o Three charts labeled “inform”, “persuade” and “entertain”
o Post-it notes
o “Take me out of the bathtub” funny poem
o Sample letter to the editor
o Sample editorial
o Sample editorial cartoons
Words to know
o author’s purpose
Using a newspaper, student magazine or textbook, students individually locate an example of each purpose and mark it with a post-it note designating the author’s purpose (inform, persuade, entertain). Teacher will use observation checklist provided.
1. Have an example of an informative, entertaining and persuasive text. (Examples: a passage from a nonfiction book on water/water cycle; a funny poem such as “Take Me Out of the Bathtub!”; and a persuasive letter such as a “letter to the editor”). Read each example to students and ask them to think about why an author may have chosen to write each piece.
2. Share a copy of a local newspaper. Read a news story from the paper and explain it is written to inform readers. (Authors may wish to give readers facts.) Share an editorial and/or a movie/book review from the paper and explain that the author has written to persuade. (Authors may write to convince readers to believe something.) Share a cartoon as an example of writing to entertain. (Authors may write to tell a good story.)
What is the main idea of each of the passages modeled? Explain to students that if they have understood the main idea of the text that will help them identify author’s purpose.
In what ways are the texts alike?
In what ways are the texts different?
Some newspapers are willing to supply multiple copies of newspapers free of charge for a classroom activity. If possible students could use the same copy of newspaper the teacher uses for the Modeling Activity.
Use examples that are readily identifiable as informative, entertaining, and persuasive as well as of interest to children.
3. Have three charts labeled “Inform”, “Persuade” and “Entertain”. Provide newspapers and magazines to small groups of students. Each group finds an example of each purpose, cuts out and pastes on the appropriate chart. Groups then use details from the examples to justify their classifications. This sharing may be done in a cooperative learning format such as round robin.