I keep it mostly blank at the beginning, and we add in different examples of each text as we discuss them. Then, I teach the hand gestures for each purpose. For that, I made this little video! Okay, PUHLEASE don't make fun of me...I've never made a video for my blog before, but I couldn't think of any other way to share the hand gestures with you! Here goes nothing...
I totally slipped into a "teacher voice" during that...I swear, it's involuntary. Okay, you can stop laughing now. Seriously. I practice those gestures with the kids at least a couple times the first day and then throughout the week. I heard once that in order to really cement something into the kids' long term memory, you have to review it once within 10 minutes, again within 24 hours, and again within 7 days. 10/24/7, MINIMUM. Finally, after we've practiced the gestures, I share a bunch of articles I've pulled from kid-friendly magazines. I'll just show it around, and then will read the beginning. Kids will think about it, and then will respond with the gesture that matches the correct purpose. After some practice with THAT, the kiddos break up into groups and work together to identify the purpose of another article.
After this introductory lesson, throughout the week in shared reading we read a variety of texts and, in addition to practicing other comprehension skills, work together to find the author's purpose.
Do you use hand gestures to teach in your classroom? I never did before this year, but our school is really working this year to boost engagement and hand gestures are an easy way to hook kids into lessons and then to help them really remember the content.
Any tips for teaching Author's Purpose?