Picture Book Month: Week Two (Identifying Author’s Purpose)

This is the graphic I used to help introduce author’s purpose.

Week two’s objective was to explore author’s purpose with students through picture books. I began by connecting author’s purpose to work that I knew students had done previously in their writer’s notebooks. We talked about how writing changes depending on the purpose and the audience. I then read a powerful new picture book Lubna and Pebble.

In this book, Lubna, a refugee child from a nondescript war torn country arrives on a beach and finds a pebble which becomes her best friend. The soft, dark illustrations set a tone of somber contemplation that begin and end with full page spread of the face of a child. Lubna shares her pebble as a way to give friendship and peace to a new immigrant. The cycle of kindness is a central theme of this rich and powerful book.

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I shared this book with the students as an example of pure entertainment as the author’s purpose. I intentionally did not choose a humorous book because I wanted to show students that entertainment can be more than humor. They were fully engrossed as I read this book aloud to them.

After reading, we viewed this graphic I created in google drawings. We talked about the book and cited several pieces of evidence of the author’s purpose.

Next, the students, in teams of three, chose from a stack of books at their tables. I explained to them that the books they were choosing from would have the author’s purpose of persuade or inform. They would choose one, read it and give three pieces of evidence as to the author’s purpose.

We wrapped up the lesson by sharing out our titles and our evidence for the author’s purpose. Students and teachers enjoyed the process. I enjoyed the conversations students were having trying to justify their thinking!

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