Author's Purpose Guest Post

We rarely get to hire anyone since the turnover in our school district is low, but we did have a last-minute resignation this past summer and got to welcome this enthusiastic teacher to our second-grade team. She was SO excited about this lesson that I simply had to ask her to share it with you. Thank you, Laura, for your passion about the whole child and for helping keep our little leaders on track!

Turning a bad day into a never-give-up good day! When you don't give up, you cannot fail. By Laura Worrell, 2nd grade teacher, Westwood Elementary

In literary text, authors do not always tell readers what characters are feeling or thinking. Instead, readers must make inferences and draw conclusions to help them better understand the characters. Students have to look beyond the text and use the illustrations as cues to the character’s inner thoughts. Students must learn to stop and think about what they are reading, ask questions, and examine any pictures there are for clues. Making inferences and thinking about the meaning behind the text and illustrations will allow for a better understanding and visualization. All of this should allow for the reader to grasp the author’s purpose and deeper meaning of the book.

After completing this lesson students will be able to:
*make better personal connections while reading a fiction text
*empathize, better understand, and draw conclusion about characters in a fiction text
*understand the author’s purpose or message in the text
*record his or her understanding/knowledge by creating pictures
*make inferences from the text
Procedure: To being lesson, show pictures of stressed out, frustrated people. Then ask students to write down on sticky notes a "good think questions" about the pictures they see. Allow thinking time. Students will ready their sticky notes out loud as they post it to a board that reads: What are you thinking?

Briefly discuss their ideas.

Next show students the book, Alexander and the Terrible, Horrible, No Good, Very Bad Day By Judith Voirst

Allow for time for the class to discuss the cover of the book. Ask the students to describe the illustrations on the cover (the boy is in the bed, he looks upset, there are toys are everywhere). Now ask what do you think he is thinking? How do you know? Why do you think that? What do you think caused it?

Before reading the book askHave you ever had a really bad day? What happened that day? How did it feel? Discuss connections self to text.

Read the book aloud and stop for discussion, asking students to briefly comment if they have a connectionie have you ever awakened with gum in your hair, not gotten a toy out of the cereal box, not be able to get the exact shoes you wanted, etc

Before reading the last page, ask the students to stop and listen very carefully. Ask them if they can figure out who or what is so important about the last two pages.

(Answer: Alexander’s mom is there for him and says that you can even have a bad day in Australia). Help them draw the conclusion that people around you are vital in helping you get through those bad days and that you cannot run from your problems.  Next, show this video clip:

Ask the students, why do you think your teacher would pick this video clip?  What is the author trying to tell us? Is there a connection to the book? How does it all connect? How does this apply to our everyday life? Is there someone special that was there for you on that bad day? 

Teacher will pass out a slip of paper and everyone must write down an answer. Put the answers in a bucket and pull out slips for discussion. Or just hold an open forum discussion. A morning meeting huddle would be a perfect venue to discuss the end of this lesson as it so applies to our everyday lives.

Independent Practice:
Students will draw a self-portrait of a happy/good day putting things that make them happy around the outside  examples of things that could make them feel happy: hearts, family, hugs, rainbows, music, or sports. Then they will create another self-portrait of a sad/bad day with things that make them sadexamples of things that make them sad:  hurting, being sick, bad words, bad choices, fighting, thunder storms. 

Ours turned out so cute; here are two examples of my students' work. (The self-portrait pattern sheets were printed two-sided to illustrate that every one has good and bad days, two sides of the same coin.)

Now students will start brainstorming and begin prewriting their “Bad Day” stories. This story is to describe one bad day in the student’s life but should also include “who” was there for them during the bad day.
Describe what happens when you have a bad day. 
What would you choose: a bad day that gets better or an ordinary good day? Why?
When did you have a day like Alexander? 
How do you express if you are having a bad day? Is it easy or hard to tell mom or dad? 
What would you change about the story we just read? 
How would you solve Alexander’s problem? 
Does this book connect to anything in your life?
What can you infer about how Alexander is feeling? 
Can you really turn a bad day around? 
What happens if you decide to quit? 
What happens if you decide to preserve?

Reading TEKS/Objectives
TEKS/Obj: 2.9- Comprehension of Literary Text/Fiction. Students understand, make inferences, and draw conclusions about the structure and elements of fiction and provide evidence from text to support their understanding. 
TEKS/Obj: 2.9B- describe main characters in works of fiction, including their traits, motivations, and feelings.
TEKS/Obj: 2.13A  identify the topic and explain the author’s purpose in writing the text. 
Writing TEKS/Objective:
TEKS/Obj: 2.17 Writing Process- Student use elements of the writing process (planning, drafting, revising, editing, and publishing) to compose text. 
TEKS/Obj: 2.17A- plan a first draft by generating ideas for writing (e.g. drawing, sharing ideas, listing key ideas).

1 comment

  1. Wonderful! I will definitely use this entire lesson! I am so glad that your shared it!


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