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  1. #1
    Member carrieSAtoUSA's Avatar
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    Default Author's purpose vs Author's viewpoint

    I am needing to teach author's viewpoint next week, and for a short while, got it confused with author's purpose. Any ideas on what the difference between the two is and how I can teach this effectively to 5th graders?

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    Senior Member jsfowler's Avatar
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    Isn't viewpoint the author's opinion of the topic? Author's purpose is why they are writing - to inform, to persuade, to entertain, to describe.

    If I were teaching this, I would choose 2 persuasive articles/editorials about the same topic (something that interests them or a topic you are covering in another content area) - one positive, one negative. Read them aloud and determine that the purpose is to persuade. Then have them distinguish between the authors' viewpoints.

    The following websites have some good activities on purpose and viewpoint:

    http://msherrerasclass.blogspot.com/...s-purpose.html
    http://fcit.usf.edu/FCAT/strategies/ap/default.htm
    http://www.dese.missouri.gov/divimpr...sson_three.doc

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    The author's purpose is the intent the author wanted the text to affect readers. This can be entertainment, persuasion, informational, etc....

    The author's viewpoint is the position the author takes which persuades his/her writing. (political, religious, environmental, young, etc...)

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    Member Hermione's Avatar
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    This is how I teach it to my 5th and 6th graders:

    Author's purpose is why the author is writing - to inform, persuade, entertain, or show emotion.

    Author's Point of View can be divided into these categories:

    1st person - I am telling the story, and I'm in the story - key words include "I," "We," "Us," etc.

    3rd person limited - The narrator is not a character in the story and is limited to seeing one character's thoughts and feelings.

    3rd person omniscient - "all knowing," the author can see all of the characters thoughts and feelings.

    My objectives state that my students need to be able to recognize 1st person point of view, but I teach all of the above.

    There is also 2nd person point of view, but I don't teach it. 2nd person is when you give a direction to the reader, with the understood "you" as the subject, such as, "Turn right on Main St."

    Hope that helps!

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    Member carrieSAtoUSA's Avatar
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    Default Thanks

    Thanks for all the replies. Hermoine - that hit the spot! It makes the whole thing clearer for me as well. What I did was review the story of the 3 little pigs and then read the story from the Wolf's point of view. We discussed how they differed and then they created a comic strip from either of the points of view that we had discussed. There were some great pieces of work. I will, however, remember to tell them about the 1st and 3rd person.

  6. #6
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    What is the difference?

    Main Idea: All stories, paragraphs, poems and articles have a main idea. The main idea tells us what the passage is about. The main idea, if stated, is also known as a topic sentence, and is usually stated in the first or last sentence of the paragraph, but not always. Sometimes it is in the middle of the paragraph, and sometimes it is not even stated (but implied). The other sentences tell more about the topic sentence. To find the main idea, one needs to ask themselves, "What is this passage mostly about?"

    Author's Purpose: Every author has a purpose for writing his passage. It might be to give information, explain something, solve a problem, sell something, persuade, or even simply to entertain. Authors support their purpose for writing with their point of view...their thoughts, feelings and beliefs.

    In reading fiction, one needs to know who is telling the story. Is it a main character? Or is it someone else, a narrator? It is also important to understand the tone or mood of a story (the feeling that the author creates). Is it funny, sad, or scary?

    Children often have difficulty distinguishing the difference between these two reading elements. I find it helpful to teach Main Idea first, making sure they understand before I move on to Author's Purpose. After they understand both concepts we discuss the differences. it is also important to question and listen to the child so you are sure they understand.

    How to teach these to concepts: To begin with explain the concept you are teaching. You can actually read the descriptions I give above or use your own words if you like.

    The next step can be quite fun if you adjust to the child's interests. Do they like to fish, hunt, play games, help you, tell stories, or read about certain subjects? I have had students write a letter or an article, and then ask them to tell me their main idea and/ or authors purpose along with other questions mentioned above. Sometimes I choose passages that I know they would be interested in reading, and ask the same questions. While viewing a TV advertisement (or an advertisement on a cereal box) it can be fun to ask them what they think the authors purpose is, and if they agree with it. There are numerous daily activities that can support your teaching objectives.

    Using curriculum is great too. There is some very good curriculum out there, which can be a time saver for you the educator, and there is nothing wrong with that if it is working for you and your student. I personally use both curriculum and the creative methods.

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    Member carrieSAtoUSA's Avatar
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    Thanks Romaco - just got the message now! Some great ideas that I can definitely use

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    Default Point of view and viewpoint are not the same thing.

    The problem with this quote below is that viewpoint and point of view are different things. If I am reading the original post correctly, she is asking about viewpoint, not point of view.

    *Viewpoint is the author's opinion on something, for instance, the author likes soccer and is conveying that in the writing.

    *Point of view is first person, second person, third person.


    Quote Originally Posted by Hermione View Post
    This is how I teach it to my 5th and 6th graders:

    Author's purpose is why the author is writing - to inform, persuade, entertain, or show emotion.

    Author's Point of View can be divided into these categories:

    1st person - I am telling the story, and I'm in the story - key words include "I," "We," "Us," etc.

    3rd person limited - The narrator is not a character in the story and is limited to seeing one character's thoughts and feelings.

    3rd person omniscient - "all knowing," the author can see all of the characters thoughts and feelings.

    My objectives state that my students need to be able to recognize 1st person point of view, but I teach all of the above.

    There is also 2nd person point of view, but I don't teach it. 2nd person is when you give a direction to the reader, with the understood "you" as the subject, such as, "Turn right on Main St."

    Hope that helps!

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