When I read a story aloud to the boys and girls there's one thing that we must do. We must decide why did the author write that particular story. There are questions I ask. To entertain, I ask, "Did it make you laugh? Did you have fun reading it? Did you feel suspense? Did you feel joy? Did you feel angry when I read that story?" If so, it's to entertain. If the book tried to get you to change your mind, if the author tried to get you to change your mind, tried to influence you to think the way he or she does, persuade. If the author is giving you facts, new information, then more than likely it is to inform.
The goal of Did it Make You Laugh?: Learning About the Author's Purpose (Virtual Tour) is to help students understand purpose and audience in writing by modeling and providing opportunities to write a variety of writing forms.
- Provide opportunities for discussing purposeful writing. Begin the discussion by asking your students "Why do writers write?"
- Use a variety of texts as models to determine different reasons for writing. Brainstorm and list these reasons on a chart that can be anchored in the classroom.
- Discuss how the topic is a separate concept from form or structure of the type of writing.