Sadly, Peppermint Patty reminds me of some readers I have taught over the years! These kiddos often think that if they read a nonfiction book about caterpillars and enjoyed it, then the author's purpose must have been to entertain them. Persuasive text is often entertaining to read. Sometimes entertaining text has a few facts thrown in. What is a young reader to do?
I recently posted a new product in my store that covers author's purpose. This is a quick snapshot of one of my favorite activities from that set. Students find the three strips with matching pictures. Take a peek at the ones with the cupcakes. One sentence is persuasive and could be from an advertisement. Another tells information about cupcakes. Then, there is one with some dialogue that sounds like realistic fiction. The kids have to sort the author's purpose for each sample sentence. (I think Peppermint Patty's teacher might want to assign her this task during literacy centers next week.)
You can check out the full pack by clicking HERE.
The Magic Tree House series is just one example of the kind of text that can be confusing when teaching author's purpose. I mean HELLO they are very entertaining AND they contain lots of cool facts! So, I say use it to your advantage! Have your kids vote for the author's purpose on an anchor chart like this one. (I included the pics of Jack and Annie in the freebie link if you want to use them.)
Now that they have shared their opinion and have invested in the dialogue, have them do a quick opinion piece to justify their vote. You can grab this FREE organizer and the Jack and Annie images by clicking HERE.
Good luck ridding your room of Peppermint Patty style thinking! I would love to hear your ideas for teaching this concept!