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Differentiated Learning Pack

Author's Purpose - Grade 4



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Author's Purpose - Grade 4

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We write for three or four main purposes: to entertain, to inform, to describe or to persuade. Some states put "describe" under the umbrella of "inform" and then list only three purposes for writing. In general terms, fiction is written to entertain, nonfiction is written to inform and persuasive pieces try to convince us of something or persuade us to act in a certain way. Students are often amused by "author's purpose" questions because they ask, "Why did the author write this piece?" Of course, there are many possible answers, but the correct answer will always be one of the three or four reasons listed above. Please see below for a selection of Leveled Lessons for Below Level (basic), and/or On Level (median), and/or Above Level (competent) readers.
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Teaching Tips

One way to help students remember answers to "author's purpose" questions is to remember "PIE." This stands for the three kinds of writing: to persuade, to inform and to entertain. To get the correct answer to author's purpose questions, the student should try to think about what the writer was trying to do. Generally speaking, if the author is giving nonfiction information, his purpose was to inform; if the reading is fiction, the purpose is to entertain; and if the reader can determine that there is clear persuasion in the piece, then the purpose is to persuade. Make a clear connection between "author's purpose" questions and everyday class work by pointing out that students are writing "to entertain" when they are doing creative writing. They are writing "to inform" when they are answering test questions. They are writing "to persuade" if they are writing a letter asking for a special favor.