Has it been a while since you taught ELA, or at least this particular part of the curriculum? We know a quarter of American teachers switch grades every year, and sometimes you could use a quick refresher.
What Is an Author's Purpose?The author's purpose definition our ELA teachers use with students is simple: This is the writer's reason for writing the text. Understanding that reasoning will help students develop their reading comprehension skills and later help them better shape their own writing. Here are five of the common author's purposes that we teach elementary students:
- to inform
- to persuade
- to explain
- to describe
- to entertain
How Do You Teach Author's Purpose?
- Modeling: Show students how to identify the author's purpose by analyzing a text together. Display a text and ask students to identify the author's purpose.
- Graphic Organizers: Use graphic organizers to help students identify and organize information about the author's purpose. For example, students can use a T-chart to list the main points of the text and then identify whether the purpose is to inform, persuade, or entertain.
- Class Discussion: Hold a class discussion about different texts and their author's purpose, and ask students to share their opinion and understanding about the text.
- Writing Activities: Provide students with writing prompts and ask them to write a text with a specific author's purpose in mind. For example, students can write a persuasive essay or an informative article.
- Role-Playing: Have students act out a scene or a skit where they take on the role of the author and present their text to the class, this will help them to understand better the purpose of their writing.
- Reading Activities: Provide students with a variety of texts with different authors' purposes, ask them to read the texts, and identify the purpose of the individual authors. This will help them to develop their critical thinking skills.