School Improvement in Maryland

Using the State Curriculum: Reading/ELA, Grade 2

Reading/ELA | Informational | Literary | Writing | Language | Listening | Speaking

Lesson Seeds: The lesson seeds are ideas for the indicator/objective that can be used to build a lesson. Lesson seeds are not meant to be all-inclusive, nor are they substitutes for instruction.

Standard 2.0 Comprehension of Informational Text

Indicator 4. Determine important ideas and messages in informational texts

Objective a. Identify the author's/text's purpose


Show an enlarged copy of a recipe. After previewing the text features unique to this form of writing, introduce the concept of author's purpose by stating that authors write for a reason or purpose. Tell that in recognizing this form of writing as a recipe, I can determine that the author wrote this piece to tell me the steps to make a _________. That was his or her purpose for writing the recipe.

Next, show an advertisement for a toy, game or destination that would appeal to a primary student. Discuss the text features that help identify this as an advertisement. Ask the students to think about the reason that the author wrote and designed this ad. Help the students determine that the author's purpose for this type of writing is to persuade you to buy the product or visit the place.

Now view a one page informational article from an appropriately leveled news magazine. Discuss the text features that help identify this as an article. Ask the students to think about the reason that the author wrote this article. Identify the author's apparent purpose.

Make the labels for a bulletin board display such as the one below:

Author's Purposes for Writing Informational Text
To tell "how to" do something To persuade To give information about a topic
(Attach recipe) (Attach Advertisement) (Attach article)

Hang each of the three items discussed under the appropriate label. Divide the class into small groups of three and give each group sentence strips. Have each of the students in the group copy one of the three purposes for reading informational text. Provide each group with a packet containing one example for each of the purposes for reading as described in this activity. Direct students to match each reading selection with its purpose. Have each group share with the whole class by showing the reading selection, identifying the purpose, and telling why they classified it under that category. If accurate, have the group place their examples under the categories on the bulletin board.

Make a literacy center to practice determining the author's purpose through sorting. Place several copies of informational text for each of the three purposes taught in the lesson in a plastic tub with laminated headings matching the bulletin board headings above. Try to vary the formats of the texts so there is some thinking involved in the sorting, such as different forms of recipes and directions, advertisements and flyers, and articles and books. Direct student pairs or individuals to place the assorted texts under the appropriate laminated headings. Provide a key for self checking.