Aug 17

Author’s Purpose

Author's Purpose Free Lesson Plan including Foldable OrganizersTeaching students to write for a specific purpose is one of my favorite skills to teach. Students enjoy drawing sketches illustrating different writing purposes. (See Activity 1 below.) And who doesn’t love eating doughnuts? (See Activity 3.)

Teaching students to write for a specific purpose is found in the Common Core State Writing Standards:

Here are three activities I like to incorporate into my Author’s Purpose Unit.

Activity 1 – Foldable Graphic Organizers

Students love creating foldable graphic organizers. This one is especially fun to make because students get to illustrate each author’s purpose on the front flaps. The four-door flip organizer is a great fit for going over definitions and rules for the different purposes. I teach this skill as quick mini lessons over four consecutive days, going over just two purposes a day. In four days the organizers are complete.  [You can download a free version of this lesson on Teachers Pay Teachers. The lesson goes over the information that goes under each flap. ~~ Author’s Purpose Lesson]

Author's Purpose Organizer

Author's Purpose Graphic Organizer

Activity 2 – Practice

After creating the organizers, students need to apply the skill. Matching cards with purposes, definitions, and examples is a great small group or partner activity. I follow the matching activity with first oral then written practice. Students must identify which purpose each example illustrates. You may download the PowerPoint I used for this lesson here. [Note: The standards listed in the PowerPoint are Tennessee Standards. You may wish to change them for your state standards or the Common Core State Standards.]

Author's Purpose PowerPoint

Activity 3 – Writing with a Specific Purpose

After going over examples, I have my students write. I bring in doughnuts. Students draw from a hat a writing purpose. Some will:

  • Persuade me to buy doughnuts.
  • Write information about doughnuts.
  • Entertain me with a story about doughnuts.
  • Share feelings about an experience you had with doughnuts.
  • Describe the doughnuts using a passage full of imagery.



 I like to take many photos of the students writing, eating, and just enjoying doughnuts. The photos along with the students’ writings make a terrific bulletin board.


You can download the entire lesson with printables free at Teachers Pay Teachers. Please note that the printable lesson and the PowerPoint are not exact matches. This is because I created the unit to use in my classroom without plans for sharing. Also, I had to remove copyright sensitive information before placing the unit on Teachers Pay Teachers. Later I went through the PowerPoint and removed information, so that I could share it as well. If you wish to use the two together, I think you can do so by just adding or taking away information in a few places.


I hope your class enjoys studying author’s purpose as much as we did!!


1 comment

  1. Lee

    Every one of your resources are stimulating, challenging and well presented. Many thanks for your dedication.

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