Lesson: Story Elements: Entertain

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Lesson Objective

Students will be able to use their knowledge of story elements to determine the author's purpose of a story.

Lesson Plan


Connection (3-5 mins): Readers yesterday we began to review the three reasons an author may choose to write a book.  Who can remind me what is one author’s purpose?  Have students share out.  Right! We reviewed the purposes; to inform, to persuade, and to entertain.  Today, we will focus on texts that entertain.


Teach (10-12 mins): Students should be seated on the carpet with a partner.  They will be expected to turn and talk to this partner throughout the lesson.  Readers, I think it is easiest to identify a text that is written to entertain.  One way to help us identify these types of texts is to think about characteristics of most fiction texts. 


All fiction texts have characters, a setting, and follow a story mountain.  Remember a story mountain is the plot of the story.  Turn and tell your partner some important elements of a plot.  Students turn and talk.  Teacher listens in and offers support where necessary. 


I heard some great conversations about plot.  Many of you mentioned a plot always includes a problem and a solution.  This is important to remember as we begin our study of texts that entertain today. 


We will read a fiction story today.  As we read I want you to think about elements of a story.  If you can answer yes to all the questions we will discuss you will know the story was written to entertain and not to persuade or inform.  Watch me as I show you what I mean.


Teacher places the story, Snow Elephants on the overhead.  Also place the author’s purpose questions so they are visible to students.  I write the questions on chart paper.  Teacher begins to read aloud stopping half way through the story when Ella says, “Elephants are my favorite animal”.  I think I can stop here and answer some important questions about the story.


Teacher reads aloud the first questions.  Who are the characters in the story?  I know that if a story is fiction and the purpose is to entertain there must be characters and a setting.  I will list the main characters to answer this question.  Teacher writes, Nick, Ella, Narong, and mom on the chart paper.  Now let’s switch are thinking to the setting.  Turn and tell your partner the setting of the story.  Students turn and talk and teacher listens in.  Students share responses as teacher charts those responses.  I think that is a great idea.  I will add that the setting of the story is somewhere cold in winter because we know they are wishing for snow. 


I think already know what the problem of the story is as well. Turn and tell your partner the problem in this story.  Students turn and talk, teacher charts their findings.  I have such wonderful readers in my classroom today.  I agree, the problem in the story is that Ella is unhappy that her brother brought a friend home.  She wanted to spend time with only him. 


The last question asks us if the problem was solved.  We don’t know that answer yet so we must keep reading.  Teacher reads aloud until the end of the story.  I think we can now answer all the questions.  Turn and tell your partner if the problem was solved and how it was solved.  Students turn and talk and teacher charts responses.  I will add your ideas to the chart.  The problem was solved because Ella learns that she wants to be friends with Narong as well.  I am so impressed with your thinking today. 


We did a lot of great reading and thinking today but I want to stop for a minute to make sure we understand how this relates to author’s purpose.  We were able to answer all of the questions about this story.  There are characters, a setting, and a plot.  This lets me know that this story is a fiction story and was probably written to entertain the reader.  I didn’t learn anything and I wasn’t persuaded to believe a certain idea.  This is a great way to check our thinking and make sure we understand an author’s purpose.


Today when you return to your seats you will answer the same set of questions about your own reading.  I am excited to see the work you accomplish today.  Off you go.


Active Engagement (15-20 mins): Students should return to their seats to complete work independently.  Teacher should circulate during this time or conference with groups of students. Each student should have a “just right” text at their seats (check to make sure each students’ book is a fiction text).  As students read they should complete the same set of questions modeled during the read aloud.


Exit Slip/Share (3-5 mins):  Teacher collects questions at the end of the workshop time.  Some students may share about what they read or interesting ideas they had while reading.  Teacher should also highlight great things she noticed while conferencing with students.  These questions can be used as a quick check to determine if students mastered the skill or not.


Reflection: The purpose of this lesson was to give students a set of guidelines while thinking about texts that entertain.  Most students know that a fiction story is meant to entertain.  However, some students have difficulty determining that a story is fiction.  The set of questions is a way for students to guide their thinking and determine if a story is fiction.  If I taught this lesson again I would provide each student a fiction story rather than having them read in their independent texts because it was difficult to sort through the exit slip without knowledge of the books they were reading.

Lesson Resources

Authors Purpose Fiction.doc  
Snow Elephants Reading.pdf  


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