• If you are citizen of an European Union member nation, you may not use this service unless you are at least 16 years old.

  • Dokkio Sidebar (from the makers of PBworks) is a Chrome extension that eliminates the need for endless browser tabs. You can search all your online stuff without any extra effort. And Sidebar was #1 on Product Hunt! Check out what people are saying by clicking here.



Page history last edited by Jessica Smith 3 years, 12 months ago


Standard 3: Critical Reading and Writing

Students will apply critical thinking skills to reading and writing.


READING: Students will comprehend, interpret, evaluate, and respond to a variety of complex texts of all literary and informational genres from a variety of historical, cultural, ethnic, and global perspectives.

5.3.R.1 Students will determine an author’s stated or implied purpose and draw conclusions to evaluate how well the author’s purpose was achieved.

Student Actions 

Teacher Actions 

  • Students determine the author’s stated purpose of a text/passage using close reading to help identify the purpose.
  • Students determine the author’s implied purpose of a text/passage using clues in the text to help identify the purpose.
  • Students keep a list in notebooks or posted in the room of reasons why authors write.
  • Students draw conclusions that are supported by evidence to evaluate how well the author’s purpose was achieved.
  • Students practice highlighting or listing specific details or language used by the author to make them feel an emotion or details and language that provoke a reaction.
  • Students identify text structure as a strategy to support determining author’s purpose.
    • For example, one author may use sequence to explain an event, while another author uses compare and contrast to put that event into perspective.
  • Students write for different purposes
    • explain a procedure, make someone laugh, inform about a topic, persuade to feel a certain way, share a memory, teach a lesson
  • Students justify their writing choices.
    • Why did you use this language/structure /technique when you wrote about a procedure versus when you wrote about endangered animals or Christmas morning?
  • Students look at the text as a whole.
    • The author may have included a funny hook to draw the reader in, but then have a list of facts to inform on a topic, and close with an emotional appeal to act. Take a short selection and break it apart identifying the different purposes, guide students to use the main idea to focus in on the main purpose of the writing.




  • Teachers direct students to copy a list in notebooks or post a list in the room of reasons why authors write.
  • Teachers explain that when the author’s purpose is stated, the author is directly telling the reader the reason why he/she is writing something.
  • Teachers model closely reading a text/passage to identify the author’s stated purpose, give students strategies, and provide opportunities for students to use those strategies when determining the author’s stated purpose of a text/passage.
  • Teachers explain that when the author’s purpose is implied, the purpose is not directly stated and the reader must use clues to determine why the author is writing something.
  • Teachers provide students with a list of clue words that can be used to determine the author’s implied purpose, students copy into notebooks or the list is posted in the room. (e.g. “should” or “must” often indicate persuasion, reports and facts often indicate informative writing, emotion words and elaborate descriptions often indicate entertainment) and model using these clues to determine the author’s implied purpose.
  • Teachers  provide opportunities for students to use clue words and strategies to determine the author’s implied purpose of a text/passage.
    • Guiding questions to support students:
      • “What is our reason for reading this book? “What do you think the author wants us to experience as we read this book?” “How do you feel after reading this selection?” "What information from the book helps us know that this is the author’s purpose?”
  • Teachers check for student understanding and provide feedback as students determine the author's stated and implied purpose.
  • Teachers model how to evaluate and  provide opportunities for students to draw a conclusions about the author’s effectiveness.
    • For example, the author’s purpose was to entertain readers through humor. As students read the text, they note places where the author told jokes or included puns. Many students laughed at the jokes and puns included in the text, therefore the author was effective in entertaining this group of students.
  • Teachers monitor and provide feedback regarding the students’ conclusions.

Supporting Resource

Teacher Insights

Determine Author's Purpose Lesson Example (website)

Finding the Author's Purpose (website)

Author's Purpose Mini Lessons (website)

Writing to Convince Lesson (website)


  • The author’s purpose is the author’s specific reason for writing and conveys what the reader has to gain (or learn) from reading the selection.

    • Stated: A nonfiction book about frogs might directly state its purpose is to educate its audience about the topic. The informative purpose might be stated at the beginning or end of the book.

    • Implied: A chapter book about a child moving to a new school may not ever state its purpose, but it could be implied through the character’s story and the book’s themes. This kind of book might have a purpose to entertain a reader with a life lesson about change.

  • Identifying text structure is important in determining author’s purpose.

  • Author’s Purpose Clue Words

    • Persuade: urge, persuade, opinion, should, must, influence, coax, convince, think, believe, belief

    • Inform/Explain: instruct, educate, inform, explain, learn, teach, acquaint, familiarize, facts, directions, numbered or bulleted information/steps

    • Entertain: story, poem, fiction, comedy, tale, fun, narrative, humor

  • A common misconception for students is that they identify the purpose in one word (inform, entertain, persuade). However, when asked to extend their thinking (inform the reader about what?) they will often give a detail instead of the main point. They do not possess a deeper knowledge of “how” the author was able to entertain, inform, or persuade.

  • Some students may have difficulty determining an author’s purpose for a fiction book that is not funny. Explain to them that “to entertain” does not necessarily mean to be funny. A sad book can be entertaining as well. Although a story may contain a lesson (or theme) it is still intended to be entertaining.


Due to recursive nature of the standards, it is essential that teachers are aware of how all objectives within and between strands work together for optimal instruction.

Back to Homepage

Back to 5th grade introduction

Back to 5th grade ELA standard 

Comments (0)

You don't have permission to comment on this page.