Monday, July 16, 2012

Back to School and Author's Purpose Swap

Does anyone remember the commercial for back-to-school shopping (I saw it last year, and maybe even the year before that) where a woman is skating around on a shopping cart with a huge smile plastered on her face as "It's the Most Wonderful Time of the Year" plays in the background? I forget which store the commercial was for.... but I do know that the woman in the commercial is DEFINITELY NOT a teacher :)

Back-to-school supplies have popped up EVERYWHERE and although I have been tempted to dig elbow deep into the waist-high bins of crayons and glue sticks, I haven't quite brought myself to the reality that my summer is slipping away (although all the classroom planning and lessons have been a pretty good reality check already!). I did notice that Walmart has a "teacher section" of supplies where everything is 88 cents, so I'm pretty sure I'm going to give in to temptation next time I'm there and check it out. I'll post some pics if I find any "hafta-have-ums" for you. 

Sooo, although this has NO connection to back to school shopping, I wanted to do a post about author's purpose because it was one of the last skills I worked on last year with my firsties. Can I just say that my kiddos L-O-V-E-D learning this! I made a few resources to help me kiddos out with the idea of author's purpose, but I also found some awesome products on TpT that helped me keep my sanity towards the end of the year when I didn't have time make up everything myself. I used the resources in some different ways than they were described in the products, so lemme fill you in.

First up, I purchased Tiffany Gannon's Author's Purpose Activity Packet for $3.00 which has some *awesome* anchor charts that I used in my classroom. I decided to print out small cover pictures of books that I read to my class and stick them below the three different anchor charts to help students start making connections between books. It also helped my kiddos see similar characteristics of books with the same purpose.  Here's a picture of how I set it up- although it is nothing too fancy:


I laminated the blue pieces of paper and the mini book covers so that I could reuse them. We started author's purpose around Earth Day, so there were A TON of great books for persuade that also worked into our Earth Day activities.  Also in Tiffany's packet is a questioning sheet that helps students determine the author's purpose for a specific book. I don't want to post any pictures of that to respect her work- the anchor charts shown above are shown in her product preview, so I feel comfortable sharing those. Lemme tell you- the questioning sheet is FABULOUS! We used it as a guide for our discussions whole group and then for when students were ready to tackle the concept independently. 

Another product I used was Rachel Lynnette's Author's Purpose Task Cards for $2.25 Even though this product is labeled for the older grades, I modified it to use with my firsties. The set has 24 cards with a paragraph or two on each with examples for each author's purpose. I decided to use these cards as part of our morning warm-up, whole group. I put one card up on the Doc Camera and I would either read it aloud, or have a student read it. We would use the question sheet from Tiffany's pack to guide our think-aloud and determine the purpose of the card. Again- my kiddos LOVED THIS! There was one morning where an early assembly kept us from doing one and my gosh, they were disappointed until I promised to work it into the afternoon :) The cards are great because it exposed my kiddos to many text examples without taking up a lot of time reading each one. 

After seeing how much my students loved author's purpose activities, I made up an Author's Swap Mini Book that took author's purpose to the next level. When my kiddos had mastered determining the author's purpose, I had them give evidence for their choice and also evaluate whether or not they thought the author was successful in their purpose: Did they persuade you? Did they do a good job of entertaining you? 

I set up the activity as a swap so that I could use it as a literacy center throughout the week, or as a cooperative activity with partners and have different books rotating among them (since I never seem to have enough copies of a single book!). Just pop copies of the Author's Purpose Mini Book in a Manila envelope with copies of any book and voila! Instant center.

Here are a few pictures the Author's Swap Mini Book. Click *{HERE}*  if you wanna snatch it up for your own use- for free! I call it a "mini-book" but it is really just a single paper copied front-to-back and folded down the  middle. There is something about making a simple paper fold that changes students' ideas about an activity- so this format took this activity from a WORKSHEET, to a much more exciting MINI BOOK :) 



Graphics by Just So Scrappy Too License #0066 and Scrappin Doodles License #45285
Fonts by www.kevinandamanda.com 

That's all for today folks! I have a few TpT products that I'm working on and a balcony makeover at my apartment that is in the works- gotta finish them up while I have the time! I'll post pictures after, even though it's not a teacher topic :) 









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