Author's Purpose Teaching Resources

Help students understand the concep of author's purpose with printable worksheets, comprehension activities, and more teaching resources created by our teacher team just for elementary teachers. This teaching resource collection includes curriculum-aligned activities and worksheets designed to help students when learning to identify if the author is trying to persuade, inform or entertain the reader. Editable resources are available so you can easily differentiate instruction for individual learners and your state standards.
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?

Teaching author's purpose can involve a host of different strategies and activities, depending on your students' grade level and abilities. But here are a few tips from our tacher team to get you started!
  1. 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.
  2. 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.
  3. 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.
  4. 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.
  5. 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.
  6. 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.

Examples of Author's Purpose

Looking for some good examples of author's purpose to present to your students? Try these! One example of an author's purpose could be a news article that is written to inform the readers about a current event or a scientific study that is written to educate the readers about a specific topic. The author's purpose, in this case, is to inform. Another example would be a novel written to entertain readers with a story or a poem written to express the author's feelings or personal experiences. In that case, the author's purpose would be to entertain or express themselves. Another example would be a political speech that is given to persuade the audience to vote for a certain candidate. The author's purpose in this case is to persuade.  
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