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Understand the Author or Speaker's Purpose


ELA: ^Other ELA: Reading MS/HS/College Strategy


Listening Comprehension Social Awareness Verbal Reasoning

Understand the Author or Speaker's Purpose

If your student misses the theme or purpose of readings

Teach It!

  1. Objective: Students will step back and consider the author or speaker's purpose to help them more fully understand a text or what you hear.
  2. Teacher Takeaways: Understanding an author's purpose helps students know how to approach the reading and where to focus. Model for students the steps on the checklist (next slide) and assign simple texts for them to practice.

*print* Student Checklist: Consider The Author's Purpose

  1. Ask "why". Why is the author writing this paper? Why is she telling this story? Why is the teacher giving this assignment? If you can identify the author or person's intentions ("why"), you are much more likely to understand what they are trying to tell you (the "what").
  2. If you have difficulty answering why, the answer likely falls in one or more of the following four buckets: (a) to explain/prove, (b) to persuade, (c) to entertain, (d) to ask.
  3. If you need more help, ask for clarification based on what you do understand.

Why It Works (the Science Of Learning)!

Understanding the author or speaker's purpose will help you focus on the most important information. It will enable you to more easily make connections to ideas you know and understand, so that the new information will build on that. It will also help you know if and when you need to ask questions for clarification.