Lessons & Units :: Rosa Parks: My Story 6th Grade Unit

Lesson 3: What’s the Author’s Purpose?

Lesson Plan

Rosa Parks: My Story | 970L

Rosa Parks: My Story
Learning Goal
Identify multiple author purposes in a text.
Approximately 2 Days (40 minutes for each class)
Necessary Materials
Provided: PIES Chart 1, PIES Chart 2, PIES Chart Worksheet (Student Packet, page 15)
Not Provided: Chart paper, markers, Rosa Parks: My Story by Rosa Parks
  • Before the Lesson

    Read Chapter 7: “White Violence Gets Worse” – Chapter 9: “’They Messed with the Wrong One Now;’” Complete Student Packet Worksheets for Chapter 7: “White Violence Gets Worse” – Chapter 9: “’They Messed with the Wrong One Now’”

  • Activation & Motivation

    Share the following story with the class:

    "As I looked in my rear view mirror, I saw a blaze of flashing lights. It’s important to pull over when a police car, fire truck, or ambulance is behind you with lights and sirens because it could be an emergency. So, I pulled to the side and waited as the officer pulled up behind me. When he came to my window, he asked, 'Do you know why I stopped you?' It’s always best to be truthful when talking with an officer of the law. 'Because I was talking on my cell phone?' I replied. Using a cell phone while driving is illegal and carries a hefty fine. The officer looked surprised. 'Or because I turned right without putting on my signal? Or was it because my inspection has inspired? Oh, wait, it must have been because I was doing 50 in a 25-mile-per-hour zone. I was speeding, that’s why you stopped me.' The officer stared at me blankly. 'No,' he said as he flipped open his citation book, 'Your brake lights aren’t working.'" 

    Ask, "Why would I tell you this story?" Encourage the class to discuss.


  • Teacher Modeling

    will explain that autobiographies, such as the one I shared with the class, have a purpose. The story was meant to share my personal experience with you, make you laugh, and to persuade you to pull over and tell the truth to a police officer. My story had multiple purposes. I will explain that just like one story can have multiple purposes, one book can also have multiple purposes. An autobiographer has one or more purposes for including specific people and events in his or her life story. As a reader, it’s important to figure out the author’s purpose for including these events because it helps you understand the author’s life.

    I will explain that there are four main reasons why an author would tell a story, and it can be summed up with the word “PIES.” “P” is for Persuade: the author wants to persuade you to do something. In my story, I wanted to persuade you to be respectful and truthful regarding the law. “I” is for Inform: the author wants to give you information about something. My story gave you information about what’s illegal while driving, such as talking on your cell phone. “E” stands for Entertain: the author wants to entertain the reader. I wanted to make you laugh because I confessed to all the things that I did that the officer never noticed. “S” is for Share: the author wants to share a personal experience with the class, like I wanted to share my experience.

    I will examine Chapter 7: “White Violence Gets Worse” in Rosa Parks: My Story to determine why the author wanted to include incidents of violence in the book. I will ask, "Why would the author include this event—in this case, violent acts—in the story?" I will use PIES Chart 1 to record the author’s purpose. Note: See PIES Chart 1 for sample responses.

    I will start with the Persuade section on PIES Chart 1. "Did the author try to persuade me? No, the author did not try to persuade my opinion or feelings about violence. Was the author trying to inform me about something? I think the author was trying to add to my knowledge about the many acts of violence against African-Americans and the uncivil acts against them. The author was letting me know about violence, laws, and interactions between the races." I will write this in the “I” section of PIES Chart 1. "Did the author try to entertain me? No, I don’t think the author was trying to entertain me. The violence that was described was not funny or thrilling; it was serious and sad." Finally, I will move to the share section. "Did the author share something with me? Yes, I could say the author wanted to share her experiences with me so that I can visualize and understand what the author and the African-American community went through during these violent times. "I will write this under the “S” section of PIES Chart 1. The completed PIES Chart 1 shows the author’s multiple purposes for including examples of violent acts in her book.

  • Think Check

    Ask: "How can I figure out multiple author purposes in an autobiography?" Students should respond that you can use a PIES Chart to figure out an author’s purpose for including an event or person in a book. By looking at the details included in the text, students can draw a conclusion about why each event is included in a book.

  • Guided Practice

    will use a PIES Chart to identify the author’s purpose for including her experience on the bus and in jail in Chapter 8: “You’re Under Arrest.” We will read aloud pages 113 to 118, where the author talks about being arrested for not giving up her seat for white riders on the bus. After we read, we will fill out PIES Chart 2 to identify why the author would include this event in the book. Note: See PIES Chart 2 for sample responses.

    We will ask ourselves if the author tried to persuade us. (Encourage discussion with your class before coming to the conclusion and recording details on PIES Chart 2.) Yes, the author was trying to persuade the reader that she was doing the right thing by standing up for herself and that she was being treated unfairly or unreasonably. Did the author try to inform us? Yes, the author included facts or information about segregation on buses and the discrimination and actions taken against her for refusing to give up her seat. We can write this under the “Inform” section on PIES Chart 2. Did the author try to entertain us? No, the author did not try to entertain us with this story, because it was not meant to make us laugh or provide entertainment. Finally, did the author share a personal experience with us? Yes, we could say that the author shared her experiences and feelings about being arrested for not giving up her seat for white riders on the bus. We will record this under the “Share” section on PIES Chart 2.

  • Independent Practice

    will choose one of the following events from Chapter 9: “They’ve Messed with the Wrong One Now” in order to identify the author’s purposes for including these events. You may choose from: JoAnn Robinson’s leaflet, Rosa Parks’ trial, or Dr. King’s involvement with the boycott. You will complete the PIES Chart Worksheet by including details in each section that you believe explains the author’s purpose. You will prepare to share your PIES Chart Worksheet with the class. (See page 15 in the Student Packet.)

  • Reflective Practice

    will come together to talk about the author’s purpose for including these three events in the book. We will discuss whether we can figure out the author’s overall purpose for writing this book. Is it to Persuade, Inform, Entertain, or Share?

Build Student Vocabulary repudiating

Tier 2 Word: repudiating
Contextualize the word as it is used in the story In 1954, Rosa met Mrs. Virginia Dunn, a white woman who believed in integration. Rosa “sewed anything she needed done. She had an integrated prayer group that I [Rosa] was part of. African-American and Caucasian women would pray together mornings at her house. After a while, that was broken up by the husbands and fathers and brothers of the white women. They took out ads in the paper repudiating their women.”
Explain the meaning student-friendly definition) Repudiating means publically rejecting or disagreeing with something. When Rosa said that the husbands, fathers, and brothers of the white women in her integrated prayer group took out ads in the paper repudiating their women, she meant that the ads in the paper stated that the men were publically rejecting their prayer group.
Students repeat the word Say the word repudiating with me: repudiating.
Teacher gives examples of the word in other contexts His father repudiated him because of a fight that they had. My family does not believe in repudiation because we like to try to settle our disagreements.
Students provide examples How do you think the women in Rosa’s prayer group felt when the men took out ads in the paper repudiating them? Start by saying, “When the men took out ads in the paper repudiating the women, they probably felt _____________ because _________________.”
Students repeat the word again. What word are we talking about? repudiating
Additional Vocabulary Words secede, repercussion, indignant, gall

Texts & Materials

Standards Alignment

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User Comments

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