Lessons & Units :: Author's Purpose 4th Grade Unit

Lesson 1: Identifying Author’s Purpose in a Newspaper

Lesson Plan

Learning Goal
Identify the author’s purpose in different sections of a newspaper.
Approximately 50 minutes
Necessary Materials
Provided: Direct Teaching Example Chart
Not Provided: newspapers with multiple sections and purposes, chart paper, markers
  • Teacher Modeling

    will explain that newspapers contain many different types of texts written by different authors; and the authors’ purposes vary throughout a newspaper. I will show an example of a news article in which the author’s purpose is to inform. I will chart characteristics of the news article indicate that the author’s purpose is to inform. (Direct Teaching and Guided Practice Example Chart is provided below in Teacher and Student Materials.)

  • Think Check

    Ask: How did I use clues from the article to help me figure out that the author's purpose was to inform? Students should respond that the article contains facts, doesn't have any opinions, is about real people in real places, and/or has a photograph about a real event.

  • Guided Practice

    will look at two other sections in a newspaper—the comics and editorials. We will analyze the characteristics of each section and chart their purpose—to entertain and persuade. (Direct Teaching and Guided Practice Example Chart is provided below.)

  • Independent Practice

    will explore a newspaper and choose three texts with the purpose to entertain, to inform, and to persuade. You will explain in writing how you know the author’s purpose for each of the three pieces. Note: You will need to provide newspapers so that each student finds an article that fits each of the author’s purposes. A Sunday paper is a good choice, because it usually has more sections.

    TIP: If you do not have access to a large amount of newspapers, have students complete the Independent Practice in small groups, so that they can share a newspaper.

Build Student Background Knowledge

Before beginning the lesson, explain that you are going to work with newspapers. Show students how newspapers have changed over time. Hundreds of years ago, in ancient Rome, leaders posted announcements carved in stone. In China, news was printed on silk. In Italy, information was handwritten on news sheets, and then, eventually the news was printed on paper with the invention of a printing press in Germany. Now, people can get printed newspapers or read about the news on the Internet, paper-free.

Texts & Materials

Standards Alignment

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

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