How to Teach Author's Purpose in First Grade

Hi Friends!! Welcome to the Simple Stations Series, the series for teachers who want solid stations that are quick, easy and cheap to make!! Check out full series below: 

Author's Purpose Sorting Station

Author's purpose is such a hard thing to teach in first grade, but it is SO important that kids set a purpose for reading before they start a text! This author's purpose sorting station actually started as a whole group lesson. It's something that I do every year. I give each student one book and I make sure I have a mixture of fiction and nonfiction, hardback and paperback, magazines and newspapers. We make our labels for inform and entertain (I hold off on persuade until we are a little more comfortable with author's purpose). Then, I have each student come to the front of the room and sort their book under the right label and we go over the results as a class. 

Not only is this a super easy mini-lesson that lets the kids learn hands-on how to set a purpose for reading, but it is SO easy to transition it into a station. I took all of our books from our mini-lesson and put them in the bucket you see above. I also put our two labels for "inform" and "entertain". I demonstrated to the class how they would partner up and check each other's answers as the sort the entire box of books under the two labels. They LOVED it!!

Bonus Activity

This is an activity that I do every year and my students LOVE it! It's so simple, give each student a Scholastic Book Order. Let them go through and circle the books that they like, now ask them "Why would you want to read this book? Would you read it for fun or to learn something?"

 Then, have students cut out books from the book order and sort them under inform or entertain. We don't use anything fancy, we just create a t-chart on a piece of paper.

Bonus Mini-Lesson

Below are two different anchor charts that I have used to help teach author's purpose. The first one is my favorite. We built it over the course of several weeks. Every time we read a book, we added a picture of the book or a sticky note to the chart. I really think it helped my students make connections between different types of books and different reasons you would read a book! 

This second anchor chart is one we used as more of a checklist to determine which category a book best it under. This was a really good activity to show that books often show characteristics in more than one category. It helped teach the lesson that sometimes the answer isn't easy to choose, you have to choose the one that is the best fit! 

Author Studies

Author studies are a great resource to tie into author's purpose.

Learn more here----> 

and check out these great author studies: 

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