Friday, February 10, 2012

Using Old Book Orders to Teach Author's Purpose

I'm so excited to share my first "lesson" post with you guys! Have you ever had old book orders you don't know what to do with? If you're like me, you're a pack rat and would feel bad if you throw it away. Here's a great way to use old magazines, newspapers, and book orders to teach author's purpose!

If the truth be known, I did not come up with this idea myself. It's a knock-off idea from a lesson I observed while in another school district a month or so ago. The teacher cut out pictures and descriptions of books from old Scholastic book orders (yeah, go ahead, click on the Scholastic link. You know you want to!) to teach author's purpose. Students then had to decide if it was to persuade, inform, or entertain.

Instead of me providing them the examples, I decided to have my students go on a scavenger hunt to find them themselves. Here's how it went down:

 1. I divided the students into 4 groups. 
2. Each group was given butcher paper and they created a 3-column chart.
3. Students were given instructions to find & classify examples of persuasion, information, or entertainment in the book orders or old magazines. 
4. They went to town cutting and pasting these great examples to create an author's purpose poster.

 The cooperative learning aspect of this activity was great. I really enjoyed listening to the kids teaching and helping each other out with this lesson.

How do you teach author's purpose? Do you have a tried and true lesson you want to share? Leave me a comment and I'd love to hear your ideas!

Happy Friday & enjoy the weekend!


  1. Love this lesson:) Too funny, we have been doing/reviewing author's purpose all week. I found a fun game on Pinterest that they did one day. We used old book order forms too to complete a tree map. (our district is big on Thinking Maps) So the kids searched the book orders and wrote down the titles....I'm liking they group work and cutting out the books....mght be trying this out:)

    4th Grade Frolics

    1. Thanks for the comment, Tara! I'm glad you like the lesson. I'll be looking for the game on Pinterest. That site is so addicting! I can't wait to hear how the lesson goes in your classroom. Come back any time! :)