Lesson plan

Pondering the Purpose, Aiming for an Audience

Help your students plan with a purpose! With instruction on both audience and purpose, your students will be equipped to strategically write for specific audiences.
GradeSubjectView aligned standards

Students will be able to consider the audience and develop an appropriate topic when planning their writing. They will be able to evaluate writing for topic and purpose, as well as to rewrite text to correspond to a given purpose and audience.

(5 minutes)
  • Invite student to share some language and conversations from the playground. What might they hear?
  • Write some examples of these conversations on the board.
  • Ask students to share how this language might be different from conversations in a classroom or in a bank.
  • Write several examples on the board.
  • Tell the students that just as types of conversation are different depending on the participants, writing is also different depending on the audience.
  • Explain to the students that they will be learning about writing with consideration given to both their intended audience and the purpose of their writing.
(10 minutes)
  • Tell the students that it is important for writers to consider who is reading their writing, and that writers can have various purposes for writing.
  • Demonstrate an example from each of the three purposes (explain, entertain, persuade) that matches a specific individual (e.g., parent, younger sibling, principal).
  • Create a chart on the board showing a summary of what could be written for each example.
(15 minutes)
  • Divide students up into pairs or small groups.
  • Distribute one index card, a piece of white paper, and a marker to each pair or small group of students.
  • Ask the students to create a plan for a piece of writing based on the individual shown on their card and the purpose listed.
  • After each group has had an opportunity to create a plan, invite students to share.
  • Guide the class in a discussion about other possibilities for writing based on the specific scenarios.
(10 minutes)
  • Ask students to complete the worksheet Write with a Purpose!.
  • Circulate around the room and provide additional prompting as needed.
  • Enrichment: Challenge students to explore multiple purposes of writing for the same individual. How do the voice and format change when the purpose is different?
  • Support: Ask students to complete the Audience AnalysisWorksheet.
  • Invite students to complete an internet search of famous individuals and to brainstorm ways that text could be written for these individuals. What makes writing relevant to certain individuals?
  • Invite students to write a blog (virtual or literal) that is directed towards a specific audience.
(10 minutes)
  • Give students an individual and name a specific background.
  • Ask the students to develop a purpose and explanation for their writing and to write their thoughts in their journals or on a piece of paper.
  • Circulate around the room to check that students match audiences and purposes in their writing.
  • Provide additional prompts as needed.
(5 minutes)
  • Invite students to participate in a group huddle where they discuss various audiences.
  • Challenge the students to discuss why it is important to consider the audience and purpose in writing.
  • Give individual groups the opportunity to share with the class.

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