Beacon Lesson Plan Library

Where Are You Coming From?

Martha Todd
Santa Rosa District Schools


Students use real-life examples to explore author's purpose and the influence of an author's perspective in his or her writing.


The student identifies the author's purpose in a simple text.


- Transparency of paragraph from textbook
- Transparency of editorial from newspaper
- Transparency of comic strip
- Transparency of sample answer for -The Crash Confusion-
- One copy of “The Crash Confusion” for each student (see file)
- Five copies of “Problems on the Homefront”
- Chalkboard and chalk
- One copy of “Scoring Rubric” for each student (see file)


1. Make transparencies of comic strip, editorial, a textbook selection, and the sample answer for -The Crash Confusion- (see file).

2. Run five copies of “Problems on the Homefront,” and write the name of one of the five characters on each of the papers.

3. Run one copy of “The Crash Confusion” (see file) for each student.

4. Run one copy of “Scoring Rubric” (see file) for each student.


Day I
1. Show comic strip on overhead to the class. Discuss what careers had a part in making the comic strip. Try to help them see what it takes to be a writer. Discuss the author’s purpose for writing the comic (to entertain).

2. Display and discuss the author’s purpose for the textbook selection and the editorial. Discuss author’s purpose in general- -to entertain, to persuade, to inform, and to explain.

3. Ask the students if they can think of how the writer’s works could be affected by events in their lives- discuss the term “perspective.”

4. Divide the students into five groups. Assign or have groups select a reader, writer, and reporter. Give each group a copy of “Problems on the Homefront.” (see file) Groups read the scenario and each group writes its response to it from the perspective of the designated character whose name is marked on the top of the sheet.

5. The teacher writes the five character's names on the board.

6. Each reporter reads his or her response to the family problem, and the class discusses which of the participants in the scenario would have felt that way.

7. Discuss as a class why all responses to the scenario were different. (Different perspectives!)

1. Review the lesson from yesterday. Explain that now they will look at another scenario by themselves. They will describe the author’s purpose and how the author’s perspective could have influenced his or her writing. Pass out the copies of “The Crash Confusion” (see file). Also give each student a copy of the rubric, and explain what they are expected to write.

2. Put a copy of the sample to score (see file) on the overhead and score it with the students, using the rubric the students have.

3. Students now complete -The Crash Confusion- on their own. Having completed their descriptions of the author’s purpose and how his perspective might have influenced his writing, they should staple the rubric to their papers for scoring.

4. After papers are scored, conference with students to clarify any problems.


The teacher elicits discussion from each child during the class discussion of author’s purpose and how an author’s perspective can influence the text. Clarify any misconceptions. After reading three writings about the same event, the student will describe the author’s purpose and how the author’s perspective influenced the text. Student’s responses are evaluated using a rubric. Students should get 14 of 18 points correct (77%) to show understanding of this standard.


During step one of the procedures, introduce a political cartoon.
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