Teaching students about an author’s purpose can seem like a daunting task. It’s hard enough that oftentimes, writing time is met with lots of, “I DON’T KNOW WHAT TO WRITE!” Let’s face it, for many kids, writing for whatever reason is their least favorite subject. The key to creating engaged writers however does not have to involve elaborate and time-consuming plans. It all can be solved with a little thing called P.I.E.
When I was younger I had big aspirations to become a writer. In my younger and more impressionable years, I sought to be like Harriet from Harriet the Spy. I legit carried around notebooks because I wanted to be like her, sans the spy aspect. Most of my notebooks wound up being drawn in and not written in, but those I did write in were eclectic as anything.
As a kid, I was one of those off-brand kids in the sense that I liked writing. Scratch that. I LOVED writing. At a young age, I would write and illustrate “books”. Years and years later I would discover that two of my works were accidentally derived from a Mercer Mayer book and an episode of Are You Afraid of the Dark?
Plagiarism aside, my love for writing continued. My cousins and I would often write our own newspapers complete with the current topics going on. Princess Diana, Beanie Babies, and the Spice Girls were common topics if that gives you any sense of the year.
As I grew older the persona of being a writer became more….twisted. I watched Misery. And The Shining. Suddenly, the thought of being a writer didn’t seem as well, glamorous. So I stopped writing. I even set aside my dreams of pursuing a journalism degree and instead opted for elementary education. For the last few years, the only time I begrudgingly wrote was when I was writing to parents of students or creating lesson plans. I had lost my passion.
Getting older suddenly meant that I had to write not just for fun. Book reports, science papers, letters to friends after I moved to a different state, and more were just the tip of the iceberg. My cup runneth of over with all the types of writing. With P.I.E this was made much easier to understand.
After discovering why I was writing, I reignited my passion for writing and with this easy lesson about author’s purpose you can also begin to create aspiring writers!
Using P.I.E. To Teach Author’s Purpose
If this acronym is completely new to you, P.I.E. stands for Persuade, Inform, and Entertain. These are the three main author’s purposes write for. Whereas my first illustrated books were meant to entertain, while a report about the Titanic was meant to inform. Years later, filling out a resume and cover letter was meant to persuade employers to higher me.
With this simple acronym, your kids can easily figure out what they can write by just knowing WHY they are writing. This fun and easy craft is perfect for introducing P.I.E. to students. After filling out the chart, they can create a flip book to use when it’s writing time! The great thing about teaching about an author’s purpose is that it can also be used during reading time!
This activity can be used during any time of the year, but would be fun for celebrating Pi Day or Thanksgiving! If you are looking for more writing crafts, check out my bundle of writing crafts for the year! This craft is just one of 13 writing crafts that can be used during the school year! Engage your students with fun writing activities AND have adorable bulletin board displays year-round!
Finally, if you are looking for an even more engaging writing lesson, check my blog post on how to use comics in the classroom to teach writing!