Lessons & Units :: Author's Purpose 2nd Grade Unit

Lesson 1: To Entertain

Lesson Plan

The Adventures of Taxi Dog | NP

The Adventures of Taxi Dog
Learning Goal
Identify text evidence that shows the author’s purpose is to entertain.
Approximately 50 minutes
Necessary Materials
Provided: Direct Teaching Example Chart, “The Hiking Trip” Passage and Independent Practice Worksheet
Not Provided: The Adventures of Taxi Dog by Debra and Sal Barracca, chart paper, markers, books from classroom library
  • Teacher Modeling

    will explain that authors have different reasons for writing books and that one reason an author will write a book is to entertain the reader. I will show students a variety of books from the classroom library which were written to entertain the reader. I will talk about the characteristics of books that show that the author is trying to entertain the reader. I will read The Adventures of Taxi Dog by Debra and Sal Barracca, stopping to chart the characteristics of the book that show that the author is trying to entertain the reader. (Direct Teaching Teacher Chart is provided below in Teacher and Student Materials.)

  • Think Check

    Ask: How did I identify characteristics of the text that show the author's purpose was to entertain? Students should respond that you read the text and paid attention to details in the story that were funny, silly, told a story or characteristics of fiction.

  • Guided Practice

    will choose books from our classroom library that show that the author is trying to entertain the reader. Each student (or group of students) will choose one book and give two examples from the text that show that the purpose of the book is to entertain.

  • Independent Practice

    will read the passage “The Hiking Trip.” You will identify text evidence from the passage that shows the author’s purpose is to entertain. (Student Independent Practice is provided below.)

    TIP: Scaffold learning by having students underline text evidence that supports the author’s purpose in the Independent Practice passage.

Build Student Vocabulary roamed

Tier 2 Word: roamed
Contextualize the word as it is used in the story "The dog roamed around the city looking for food and trying to stay out of trouble."
Explain the meaning student-friendly definition) To roam means to move around without a goal or purpose. When the dog roamed around in the story, he was walking around without knowing where he wanted to go.
Students repeat the word Say the word roamed with me: roamed.
Teacher gives examples of the word in other contexts Last Saturday, I roamed around the new neighborhood. When I was in the grocery store, there was an old woman roaming the aisles without knowing what she wanted to buy.
Students provide examples When have you roamed around? Start by saying, “I roamed around when___________.”
Students repeat the word again. What word are we talking about? Roamed.
Additional Vocabulary Words gritty, anew

Build Student Background Knowledge

Before reading The Adventures of Taxi Dog, explain to your class that you are going to read a book that features a taxi cab. A taxi cab is a car that takes passengers wherever they want to go in a city or town for a fee (money). Cab drivers use a meter to measure how far they have traveled and how much money the passenger owes them. The further a passenger travels, the more money the passenger has to pay the driver. The yellow taxi cabs featured in the book are famous in New York City, but taxis come in all different car models and colors, depending on which city you are in.

Texts & Materials

Standards Alignment

(To see all of the ReadWorks lessons aligned to your standards, click here.)


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I think you cut off the story before it got to the entertaining part. Your direct teaching chart ONLY mentions funny non-realistic fiction and this is neither. You could add suspense, mystery, embarrassment, tension, fear and other strong emotions. Even so this passage is not a particularly good example as it stands. It is just introducing a fearful part.
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I agree that the independent passage is not the best example to use with students. Of the 5 indicators that were taught using the chart provided, only two of the characteristics apply easily. This passage does not provide illustrations that are silly, it doesn't make the reader laugh and it is too realistic. One could argue that it does provide real information. So, the only characteristics that are plausible are that it tells a story and is fiction, realistic fiction. I think a better passage could be found.
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Am I missing part of the story "The HIking Trip" It just ends with them thinking they are lost? I have a feeling I am missing part 2? Please let me know. Thank you.
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I am concerned about the independent reading passage that is to show the authors purpose is to entertain. The example in the lesson is a book that makes the kids laugh, and the explanation for writing that is meant to entertain says that passages written to entertain "usually" make the reader laugh, yet the passage in the independent work is not at all funny. It would seem that we need more examples that show both funny and not funny writing before we get to this passage for independent work.
Read it again. It does not only say make the reader laugh. There are a number of reasons to entertain which are clearly indicated. You may have missed that. Thank you for this wonderful resource!
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