Last week, we focused on the skill of author's purpose and author's perspective. We discussed that most of the time, authors write to persuade, inform, or to entertain (P.I.E.).
We started off by reading The Great Kapok Tree by Lynne Cherry, and pondered why the author would have written this entertaining fantasy. Many of my readers came to the conclusion that Lynne Cherry wrote the book to persuade people to take care of the environment and to avoid destroying the rainforest, as it is home to many animals.
The next day, we took it a step further and analyzed author's purpose within a text, using an article about Bill and Melinda Gates. We were able to determine very quickly that the author's purpose was to inform us how the Gates Foundation helps people, but then we talked with our reading partners about why the author included specific information. The author chose to inform us of several things: who the Gates are and how they became so successful, what their foundation does, what their current goal is, and why they think it is so important to help others.
Our next piece of text was an article called "Hooked!", which was about children who are hooked on video games. By reading the article headings and skimming through some of it, several readers made the prediction that the article was written by someone with the perspective that there should be limits to how much kids play video games. We were able to use evidence from the text to prove this point.
When I assessed my readers' learning today, I was very pleased that the majority of my class not only understood and applied the information they learned about author's purpose and author's perspective, but more than half scored 100%! Wow!
Next week, we will be exploring story elements of fiction, with an emphasis on character and character development. I'll be reporting back to fill you in on the details next weekend!