Digital and Print Activities to Teach Author’s Purpose

Teaching Author's Purpose

I have always enjoyed teaching author’s purpose to my students. It is so easy to incorporate in any of the lessons I teach across all grade levels. Several years ago I even used it as my professional goal. This is when I developed more in-depth lessons and activities for the subject. And for some reason, I usually teach author’s purpose in November. I”m not sure why maybe just because the PIE acronym that we all use fits so well with Thanksgiving! Read below to see some of the ways I teach my students the different reasons authors write.

Digital Activities for Teaching Author’s Purpose

These activities can be used with Google Slides. I like using these for two main reasons. One is their paperless. I’m really trying to cut back on the number of copies I do each week. And of course, my school encourages this as well. Second, the students LOVE any type of digital activity. Their level of engagement goes up and they tend to stay more focused on the task at hand. Below is a sorting activity for students to sort different types of writing into the three categories. No glue required!

Author's purpose activity

My favorite part of this lesson is the 6 different reading passages (2 for each type of purpose). Students will read the passage and highlight the key phrases that tell them the purpose for the writing. They will then type out their thinking.

Teaching Author's Purpose example
Teaching Author's Purpose example

There are a total of 11 slides in this Author’s Purpose Activities for Google Slides which will provide your students with plenty of practice as they learn this skill.

PowerPoint Introduction

I usually start with a PowerPoint introduction with my third graders. The PowerPoint introduces the concept and the three main reasons author’s write: persuade, inform and entertain. We discuss examples of each kind and what each term means.
Powerpoint for teaching author's purpose

Then there are some review slides where the students have to read the paragraph and decide what type of purpose it is. Afterward, I have an exit ticket just for author’s purpose that I have students fill out.  

What is author's purpose?

Graphic Organizers and Worksheets

I follow up the PowerPoint with some practice. I gather different kinds of writing including books, reference books, newspaper, advertisements and anything else I can find. Then I have them fill out one of the graphic organizers. Here is one example.  

Graphics and worksheets for teaching author's purpose

I usually do different AP sorts with my fourth graders (just because I like to do different activities with each grade level). I have also used old Scholastic book orders and had students cut and sort books from there.

Author's purpose sort

Task Cards

I also have two different task card sets. One set is simpler than the other. I usually do these later in the year as a review. The first set is simpler and just gives a very brief title or description. These work well for younger students or to use as time fillers or a quick review in between classes or transitions.

Task cards

Author’s Purpose Activities

Want to try these resources with your own students? Visit the author’s purpose section of my TpT store.

Freebie Time!

In the free resource library I have added a set of teaching author’s purpose posters. Remember, if you are a member of my email list you always have access to the resource library. You can access it from the link at the top of the page or here. And it’s password protected, so make sure you keep the password handy. If you are not a member of my email list yet you can sign up below.