This resource is an excellent lesson plan for teaching author’s purpose and targeted audience. While specific attachments are alluded to but not provided here, the plan is rich enough to follow and the teacher can provide his or her own texts to use as examples. The plan calls for a children’s book, a copy of The Economist and an internet advertisement. These artifacts help facilitate understanding author’s purpose and audience. The lesson is based on best practices and includes excellent guiding questions and pedagogy.
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Group Size: Any
Time Required: 60 - 90 minutes
Learning Objectives: Students will be able to...
Identify the intended audience of a text Identify the author's purpose in creating a text
Student Worksheet #14 (attached) Overhead transparency (attached) Issue of The Economist (or similar magazine) Children's book Post-it notes (so that students can code their novels) Night by Elie Wiesel (one copy for each student)
Do Now: (Add a Do Now to the Student Notes so that students have something to complete upon entering the room. I like to use this opportunity to spiral skills from prior lessons or to ask students to journal about a life experience that might help them to make a connection with today's lesson.)
Connection: Today we're going to review two concepts that should be familiar to you from previous years: audience and author's purpose. It can be helpful to think about who your author's audience was or what his intended purpose is when you're reading his or her text.
Direct Instruction / Guided Practice: Let's quickly start by defining these two terms. What does the word "audience" mean to you? (T will facilitate a brain spill on the board to access prior knowledge.) We're going to define it as (T write write this definition on the board board, S will record it in today's notes) the group of readers the writer is addressing.
For example, the author who wrote this text (hold up children's book) probably had a different audience in mind than the authors who wrote articles in this magazine (hold up The Economist). Can someone explain what I mean? (Take reasonable responses. EX: The children's book is for children. The magazine is for adults, specifically adults who are interested in international affairs and happen to be affluent enough to purchase this pricey mag.)
Another idea that's closely tied in with audience is author's purpose. What does the phrase "author's purpose" mean to you? (T will facilitate a brain spill on the board to access prior knowledge.) We're going to define it as (T write write this definition on the board board, S will record it in today's notes) the reason a writer creates a text: to inform, to entertain or to persuade.
The author who wrote this children's book (hold up children's book) probably intended to get kids interested in reading. He or she just wanted to entertain them. The authors who wrote the articles in The Economist, unless the articles were opinion-based, probably wanted to inform readers about what is going on in the world; they wanted to give information to their readers. And those purposes are still quite distinct from the purpose of the author who created this piece of propaganda (flash overhead on board), who wanted to persuade viewers to try out addcaption.com.
Let's practice identifying audiences and purposes briefly together. Take three minutes working independently or chatting with someone near you to identify possible audiences and purposes for the items described and excerpted in your notes. (Allow time. T will circulate among students to monitor dialogue and to dispel misconceptions. T will then facilitate a whole-class share. Two misconceptions appear below. T may wish to dispel these two misconceptions if he/she hears them in student conversation.
Misconception 1: There is always one distinct audience or one distinct purpose. In fact, authors may have in mind multiple audiences, and purposes may be mixed.
Misconception 2: If the purpose is to entertain, then the work must be funny or have a happy ending. In this sense, "to entertain" means simply to keep you interested in what will happen next. Story telling of any kind--dramatic, action-packed, romantic, tear-jerker, you name it--all count as entertainment. So it is with the author's purpose, "to entertain."
Link:Check out the “Link” section of your notes to review what you should be doing.(Share out “Links.”)
Independent Practice: (S will read silently. T will hold Reader's Workshop conferences and/or pull small groups for guided reading or other interventions. Note also that literature circles may be holding meetings at this time.)
Share: Our time for today is up. Please take a moment to respond to the questions in the independent practice section of your notes. (Allow time.)
When you share today, you should focus on sharing what you read in Night and how you responded to the questions in the independent practice section of your notes. Make sure that everyone understood the reading and that no one has any misconceptions. (T will allow time and circulate to monitor S understanding.)
Closing: Remember, audience and author's purpose go hand in hand, and you will be a better reader if you devote time to identifying your author's intended audience and purpose. As a last reminder, your projects are due tomorrow! We'll start our presentations, too! Use those rubrics to ensure that you're ready to go.
Okay, it's time for million dollar question...
1. Where we left off today, Elie Wiesel has just arrived in Buchenwald as one of 12 survivors remaining from the original 100. Make a prediction about what will happen next. (Accept reasonable responses.
2. What idea or theme ties together the novels we'll be studying in unit five? (WWII or Holocaust)
3. (Note to the Instructor: Insert your own question here based upon objectives your students mastered up until this point in the year.)
4. How are audience and author's purpose related? (Accept reasonable responses.)
Differentiation: Novels are differentiated by reading level and by choice. Brain spills to access prior knowledge. Gradual release during Direct Instruction/Guided Practice. Active reading strategy: coding the text. Reader's Workshop conferences to encourage and monitor individual goals.