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Lesson Plans
Author’s Purpose PIE
1st–2nd Grade

Reading Literature
  • Explain major differences between books that tell stories and books that give information, drawing on a wide reading of a range of text types.
Reading Informational Text
  • Identify the main purpose of a text, including what the author wants to answer, explain or describe.
Materials Needed


  • Explain to students that authors have many different reasons for writing. For example, an author might write to inform or explain something to the reader about a topic, to persuade someone to think about an idea or convince them to do something, or simply to tell an entertaining story.
  • Tell students that these varied reasons for writing are called the author’s purpose. Students can recall the three main purposes by remembering the acronym PIE—Persuade, Inform, Entertain.
  • Emphasize that being able to identify the author’s purpose in writing helps us connect with the text and understand what the author wants us to know.


  1. Display a copy of the Author’s Purpose PIE chart on an interactive whiteboard, or copy it onto chart paper.
  2. Read each section of the pie aloud, reviewing the different clues that are included in each section. Point out that readers can look for these special phrases and other similar phrases in the text as clues to help identify the author’s purpose. (For example, if an author wants to inform the reader, some other key words that might be included in the text are “Here are the facts…” or “It is true that….”)
  3. Finally, read a short selection of each type of text aloud. Have students identify the author’s purpose and support their answers by referring to the PIE chart.

Guided Practice

  1. Divide students into small groups of 3–4 students.
  2. Give each small group a copy of the Author’s Purpose PIE chart, some sticky notes and copies of 5–6 different books or passages that have various purposes.
  3. Instruct students to work together to determine which of the three purposes (persuade, inform, or entertain) the author of each text had in mind. They can use sticky notes to label each one with a P, an I or an E.
  4. As students work, circulate and discuss how they identified the author?s purpose in each of their books or passages.

Independent Practice

  1. Give each student a copy of the PIE sorting mat as well as a copy of the PIE reading passage cards.
  2. Instruct students to read the passages and determine which of the three purposes (persuade, inform, or entertain) the author had in mind when writing each passage.
  3. Have students sort the six PIE reading passage cards into the appropriate category, and underline any clues in the text that led them to that decision. If you want, you can have them glue their final sorted passages down and turn them in.

View the 1st–2nd Grade lesson plan. (Includes all printable materials.)
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