Lessons & Units :: Author's Purpose 3rd Grade Unit

Lesson 1: Identifying an Author’s Purpose

Lesson Plan

Learning Goal
Identify the author’s purpose as: to entertain, to inform, or to persuade.
Identify text evidence that supports the author’s purpose.
Approximately 50 minutes
Necessary Materials
Provided: "Smoking Hurts the Lungs and Heart,” “Hispanic Population Soars,” “Casey Saves the Play,” Direct Teaching Example Chart Independent Practice Passage and Worksheet
Not Provided: chart paper, markers, library books, sticky notes
  • Teacher Modeling

    will explain that authors write for one of three purposes: to entertain, to inform, or to persuade the reader. I will read three Reading Passages – "Smoking Hurts the Lungs and Heart,” “Hispanic Population Soars,” and “Casey Saves the Play.” (Passages are provided in the unit and on the website.) For each passage, I will identify and chart the author’s purpose and the words, phrases, and sentences that give the reader clues about the author’s purpose. (Direct Teaching Teacher Example Chart is provided in Teacher and Student Materials below.)

  • Think Check

    Ask: How did I identify the author's purpose in the three passages? Students should respond that you used words, sentences, and phrases in the text that gave you a clue as to why the author wrote the passage.

  • Guided Practice

    will choose books from our class library and categorize them by the author’s purpose—to entertain, to inform, or to persuade. We will place sticky notes in the books to identify text evidence that supports the author’s purpose.

  • Independent Practice

    will read a passage, identify the author’s purpose, and explain your choice. You will underline words and/or phrases in the passage that gave you clues about the author’s purpose. (Passage and Student Independent Practice worksheet are provided.)

Build Student Vocabulary rehearse

Tier 2 Word: rehearse
Contextualize the word as it is used in the story "While she worked, the actors rehearsed on stage. The next day was the big dress rehearsal for the play."
Explain the meaning student-friendly definition) To rehearse means to practice something you will perform for others. If the actors in the story are rehearsing for a play, it means they are practicing and preparing for the performance. The dress rehearsal for a play is the very last practice for the play before the performance.
Students repeat the word Say the word rehearse with me: rehearse.
Teacher gives examples of the word in other contexts If I’m going to perform in a dance competition, I will make sure to rehearse my steps. If you are presenting a project in front of class, you should rehearse what you are going to say.
Students provide examples Can you give an example of a time when you might need to rehearse? Start by saying, “I might need to rehearse if ___________________.”
Students repeat the word again. What word are we talking about? rehearse
Additional Vocabulary Words set (of a play), disaster

Build Student Background Knowledge

After reading the passage (“Hispanic Population Soars”), explain to your class that every 10 years, the government reports the number of people who live in the United States by conducting a count called the census. This count is required by the U.S. Constitution. The data gathered is used to determine the number of representatives each state receives in the U.S. Congress, as well as each county’s representation in the state congress. The count also helps determine how much money each neighborhood or district will get to improve the community, build playgrounds, improve buses, and support local hospitals.

Texts & Materials

Standards Alignment

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

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