Tracy Rains
Elementary Education, Reading Foundation Skills
Material Type:
Lesson Plan
Upper Primary
4, 5
  • Author's Purpose
  • English Language Arts
  • Reading Comprehension
  • License:
    Creative Commons Attribution Non-Commercial
    Media Formats:
    Downloadable docs, Graphics/Photos, Text/HTML, Video

    Determining Purpose

    Determining Purpose


    In this seminar you will be engaged by video, text, and activities that will help you determine (identify/label) the author’s purpose in printed material. You will be using habits of mind which focus on clarity in communication, as well as accessing prior knowledge to make new decisions regarding the purpose of text. Realize that authors of any printed material have a reason for writing. Understanding this purpose will help you develop your own comprehension and writing skills.


    CC.1.2.6.D - Determine an author’s point of view or purpose in a text and explain how it is conveyed in the text.


    Introductory warm-up activity.

    Create a mind map that will display your level of understanding related to the three main purposes for writing: persuade, inform, and entertain. Your mind map should clearly relate the focus purposes (persuade, inform, and entertain) to author’s purpose. Below is a link that should provide some guidance for creating a mind map.

    Student Guide to Mind Mapping


    Read or watch the resources to learn about this concept, then do the practice activity.




    As you read, Author’s Purpose - The Main Three, be on the lookout for key ways or words to identify the Author’s purpose.

    As you watch the video, What is Authors Purpose, be on the lookout for key ways or words to identify the Author’s purpose.

    Create three slides or find three articles that show a clear representation of the three main types of author’s purpose: persuade, inform, and entertain. Make them available to be shared with other learners.



    Discuss your ideas / opinions / understandings.


    Collaborate with a fellow learner to create a short list (5-10) of interview questions you could use to check the level of understanding for another fellow learner. Your collaborative questions should show whether your fellow learner can identify or explain author’s purpose as persuade, inform, and entertain correctly.  This collaboration and discussion will further cement the understanding of all learners.

    Example Question: Can you give an example of a time when you were persuaded by text you read?   


    Now it is time to self-check how much you have learned about the this topic.  If you do not know as much as you thought, go back to the “Explore” section of this seminar and reread, rewatch, or redo the activities listed.  See your facilitator if you have questions.

    Click here to take the quiz online. You do not have to log into the quiz site in order to take this quiz. If a window pops up asking you to sign up for the quiz site, just close the sign-up window and start your quiz.


    This is a task or project where you can show what you know.


    Create a short 1-2 minute commercial. Pick a product that is relatable to your audience of learners. Next choose a purpose for your commercial: persuade, inform, or entertain. Now complete your commercial which displays an accurate level of understanding of one of the three main types of author’s purpose. You could either video or perform your commercial to show your level of understanding to others.    

    Author's Purpose Commercial Rubric


    Complete this wrap-up activity where you reflect on your learning.  

    Persuade, inform, and entertain are the most commonly used author’s purposes. In your reflective essay please answer the following question, “In what way will understanding author’s purpose change how you read text in the future?”


    Reflective Essay Rubric