Students have already had direct instruction in regards to author's purpose. I ask students to take out their white board and write what they believe Lois Lowry's purpose is for writing the book. I tell them to put this inside the center circle of a concept web.
To support their thinking, I ask them to include all the examples that prove that this is the purpose of the story. This is a silent brainstorm, and they will be given time to think and write without interruption. They will need to include as much evidence as possible because they will use it to write a response.
With their brainstorm complete, I ask them to then use their whiteboards to create a writing response. The first part of the response should tell me what the purpose is and how they know it. They will then need to write a prediction on why they believe the author chose the title and give reasons of support from the story.
I remind students that their response should be clear with what they feel the purpose is and then include 2-4 pieces of support to go with it. I also clarify that they need to be clear on the naming of the book and 2-3 reasons to support their thinking.