How do we get our littlest learners to understand the concept of author’s purpose when we teach reading? By involving them in the learning process of course! If you have been around Emily Education long enough, you know how much I LOVE using anchor charts to help my students learn. And these anchor charts aren’t just posters they look at, they are hands-on and interactive learning opportunities that the students are involved in. When it comes to teaching Author’s Purpose the anchor chart is where I start! Using the author’s purpose anchor charts to get my students to understand why the author wrote the story has been such a successful technique in my classroom.
I have found that introducing author’s purpose to my students is easy when I break it down into manageable steps. My students love creating their anchor charts and it’s a great way for me to get them learning in a creative and engaging way. I am so excited to share with you my strategies for teaching the author’s purpose with activities you can use with ANY fiction or non-fiction book you choose.
Introduction To Author’s Purpose Vocabulary
I suggest always introducing the vocabulary for what you are teaching prior to beginning the learning. I know that when I begin to introduce the author’s purpose to my class, there will be a lot of new vocabulary words my young student haven’t heard before. Words such as author, purpose, persuade, inform, and entertain may be completely new to them. Using an anchor chart to introduce this vocabulary is simple and fun when you turn it into a game. It’s as easy as printing out the vocabulary words and definitions and asking students to come up to the anchor chart to match the words and definitions. Including some visual images will help students connect the words to pictures which will help them remember the vocabulary in the long term.
How Do We Know The Author’s Purpose?
When reviewing the author’s purpose, it’s important for me to give my students the opportnity to identify the author’s purpose in passages or books we read in our classroom. Creating an author’s purpose anchor chart together as a class gives students the opportunity to break down the parts of the text and identify the clues that tell us the author’s purpose. We do this by pretending we are text detectives. We identify the evidence in the text and the proof that tells us that’s the author’s intended purpose.
Persuade, Inform, or Entertain?
After introducing the vocabulary to your students, it’s time to dig deep into each type of purpose. Thinking about why an author writes doesn’t come naturally to our students, so it’s important to model and ask lots of guiding questions before jumping in. It’s at this time that I pull out some of my favorite books for some read alouds with my class. They love hearing me read, and honestly, I love reading to them! After we read a story, I ask some important open-ended questions like, “Why would the author write this story?”, “How does the author want us to feel after reading the story?”, or “What do you think the author wants us to do after reading the story?”. It’s so great to see their little eyes light up when they “get it”. They just discovered the author’s purpose! Now it’s time to get crafty and make some anchor charts to illustrate each of the different types of author’s purpose categories. You can cover each author’s purpose all at once using the PIE anchor chart to introduce all three, or have your students focus on one at a time.
PIE Author’s Purpose Anchor Chart
The PIE anchor chart is seriously the cutest thing ever! It makes learning the three types of author’s purpose “as easy as pie” for your students. The acronym PIE stands for persuade, inform, and entertain. Creating an anchor chart will help students categorize books or reading materials into each of the three types of author’s purpose categories. We begin by reviewing the definitions for each of the author’s purpose categories. We place the definitions in each of the PIE sections where they belong. Next, it’s time to sort the types of reading materials into each section.
Types of reading materials for students to classify include:
- Nonfiction text
I ask my students to place each of the images with the vocabulary word onto the anchor chart under persuade, inform, or entertain. I also give my students the opportunity to complete this activity as a class first. Creating a big PIE author’s purpose chart for the class to create collaboratively allows students to have conversations about where the words should go, and check each other’s understanding. After we have created our class anchor chart, I love to follow up the lesson by allowing students to create their own, individual, anchor chart. My students love any opportunity to get crafty, and these adorable PIE author’s choice anchor charts are a favorite for sure!
Author’s Purpose Anchor Chart – Persuade
When an author’s purpose is to persuade, they are trying to change your mind, have you do something, or try something. Before my students start on their persuade author’s purpose anchor chart, we read a story that I know clearly tells us the author’s purpose is to persuade the audience. We take time to talk about what the author is trying to persuade us to do or think and list some concrete examples of how we know.
Now it’s time to make our author’s purpose persuade anchor chart. This anchor chart is such a great visual example because it uses a magnet to illustrate how the author tries to pull you to what they write. Students cut and paste the definition, types of persuasive text, and examples onto their anchor chart.
Examples of persuasive text for students to categorize include:
- Political writing
- Opinion Writing
- Product reviews
- Persuasive letters
When an author’s purpose it to persuade, their goal is to convince the reader to agree with them. I also like to ask my students to write their own example of a persuasive text after completing this anchor chart. It’s the perfect way for them to show their understanding and for me to do a quick assessment.
Author’s Purpose Anchor Chart – Inform
When an author’s purpose it to inform us about something, their goal is to provide facts and information. I ask students to brainstorm as a class where they may have read informational text. In my classroom, we usually read over the lunch menu each day. This is a perfect example of text where the author’s purpose it to inform us about something. After they get started, my students can usually come up with a lot of examples of places they have seen informative text during their day.
Before having students complete this anchor chart, I ask them to think about what kind of text we would find if we were learning about iguanas. Informer iguana helps remind them that when an author’s purpose it to inform us, we are learning something from the author.
Examples of text that informs us includes:
- Science text
- Non-fiction books
- News articles
A perfect way to finish up this activity is to ask students to write a paragraph about themselves. They love this part and always look forward to sharing their informational text with their classmates.
Author’s Purpose Anchor Chart – Entertain
This is by far my student’s most favorite category. The author’s purpose entertain anchor chart includes a cute graphic of a Ferris wheel to visually remind students that the author’s goal is to keep them entertained. Students will cut and paste examples of entertaining text onto the Ferris wheel to show understanding.
Text that is meant to entertain includes:
- Joke books
This is the perfect time to ask students to write their own short story using one of the categories from the Ferris wheel. I have heard some pretty entertaining short stories from my students in the past.
Play Games, Sing Songs, and Draw It Out
Ending my author’s purpose unit with a fun game my students love is a great way to review the information they have learned. I use my game called “Put That Purpose Where It Goes!”. First, I print out passages and recipes on brightly colored card stock and divide my class into groups. Each group gets a different passage to read and purpose cards. After a designated amount of time, ask the groups to attach their sorting cards to the correct anchor chart. It’s a fantastic way for me to do an informal assessment of my student’s learning.
We also review and practice author’s purpose with a chant we sing every day during the unit, and worksheets to complete throughout the unit for morning work, centers, or early finisher activities.
I hope you and your students love these author’s purpose anchor charts as much as my class and I do. Pretty soon, your students will be identifying the author’s purpose in everything they read. It’s a joy to see them make those connections throughout the day.
You can find the Author’s Purpose Anchor Charts and activities in the Emily Education store. Make your lessons on author’s purpose one your students won’t soon forget.
Anchor Charts For The Whole Year
If you love anchor charts as much as I do, you might want to use them for more than teaching author’s purpose. Here are just a few of my favorites. Check out the store for the skill or concept you are teaching. You just might find exactly what you need to help your students get more involved in the learning process.
- Main Idea Anchor Chart
- Cause And Effect Anchor Charts
- Short I Word Families Bundle Anchor Charts And Crafts
Save These Ideas!
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