January 7, 2012

Teaching Author's Purpose? Iguanas Can Help!

 Why was the book written?  
Was it to persuade? Was it inform? Was it to entertain?

I always teach author's purpose with iguanas in three easy steps. By using books all on the same topic, kids are easily able to distinguish between the 3 distinct purposes, plus the stories are great!

1) Introduce PIE (persuade, inform, entertain) and identify characteristics of each

2) Read the following books:

To persuade

To entertain

To explain

3) Have students match the book to it's purpose & create anchor chart. Easy as 1-2-3!


  1. Love the idea of using the iguanas to teach this....I'm going to have to find those books:)

    4th Grade Frolics

  2. I love love love "I Wanna Iguana"! David Catrow is one of my favorite author/illustrators. Great pick!

  3. I have nominated you for the Liebster Award. Please head over to my blog to check out the rules and spread the love!


  4. Using books that are all related to the same subject is brilliant!

  5. I just came across this as I was searching for ideas on author's purpose and I love it! With using "I Wanna Iguana" though, I don't know if the author's purpose is to persuade. The character's purpose would be to persuade, but would the author's purpose just be to entertain? I don't know if the author is trying to convince his reader's to buy an iguana. Did you just talk about the little boy as an author and his purpose being to persuade? Just wanting some clarification on how you teach it because I really like the idea and would love to incorporate it! Thanks! :)

    1. You are absolutely right. The author's purpose of "I Wanna Iguana" is to entertain, but the boy is persuading. When I teach this lesson I talk about the boy being the person trying to persuade. I like using the boy because it is so clear what he wants and my 3rd graders were able to really understand what it meant to persuade. We later read a variety of short passages and sorted the passages by author's purpose. This gave them something to connect to where it was very obvious. I'm so glad you clarified. I may have to go back and update my post. Thanks!! :)


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