Author's Crafting, Anyone?

Contributor: Jennifer Blanchard. Lesson ID: 13438

In crafting, there are no mistakes. Each craft is its own unique creation! Come along to learn what an author's craft is and why they do what they do!


English / Language Arts, Literary Studies

English / Language Arts
learning style
personality style
Golden Retriever
Grade Level
Intermediate (3-5)
Lesson Type
Quick Query

Lesson Plan - Get It!

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You grab a book to read from your bookshelf. You start to wonder while reading the words and looking at the pictures in the book.

  • Why did you decide to spend your time reading?
  • Why are some books more boring and less fun than others?
  • Why did the author choose those words for the book anyway?

Hmmm, maybe you just aren't noticing all that the author did to make the book interesting for you.

Wow, maybe the author cares about you having fun and being interested in the book more than you first thought!

Before beginning, review what we already know.

  • ⇒ Reading is important! You read to learn new information.
  • ⇒ Authors write books.
  • ⇒ As a reader, you pay attention to what the author writes in a text.
  • ⇒ Author's purpose is to write different texts for different reasons.

Sometimes, the author tells you exactly what you need to know, and sometimes, you have to infer (or use the clues and what you already know) to develop your thoughts.

In this lesson, you will learn how thinking about an author's craft helps you enjoy the author's purpose while also connecting readers and writers.

Author's craft is the different choices and moves the author makes in writing to achieve the author's purpose. There is a connection between them.

In a fiction text, the author's overall purpose is to entertain or make the reader enjoy the story. Each book has a more specific purpose than that, but there are many ways an author can craft the story to make it more enjoyable.

Every move an author makes, everything an author includes in a book, is intentional or done for a reason.

Craft is simply the art of writing. It includes everything the author does on purpose to make the story look or sound a certain way.

As a reader, you need to notice the moves (as evidence) and think about the reason why the author included them.

Some examples of author's craft include the following.

  Word Choice

the words the author chooses to write a story
  Figurative Language or Imagery

the descriptions and details the author uses to help the reader visualize the story
  Structure of the Text

how the text is organized and set up
  Illustrations the pictures help tell the story


These are just a few examples. There are many other things the author can do to show off the author's craft!

  • How do you notice and discuss an author's craft?

Look at an example!

Read the book Listen, Buddy by Helen Lester. If you do not have a copy of this book, watch the read-along video below.

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  • What is something you notice after reading the book one time through?

You may have noticed that the author repeats many words and phrases.

She repeats what the other characters are asking Buddy to do, like bring his dad a pen and bring his mom a slice of bread. The author also repeats the phrase, "Listen, Buddy!"

Think about why the author would use that repetition.

  • Did it make you laugh a little every time the author repeated this phrase?

It feels like the characters were getting frustrated with repeatedly telling Buddy things. It's funny how often that point is made clear to the reader.

Notice how this is something specific the author did. It's not just a made-up idea because evidence is used.

To help organize and show your thoughts, you would write this down on an Author's Craft Graphic Organizer.

graphic organizer

The characters also ask Buddy to do unusual things.

  • Why would the author have the characters do that?

The author's purpose behind those moves was to make the reader laugh.

You would add that to the graphic organizer.

graphic organizer

The author tells the story in order of what happened or in chronological order.

Instead of reading about what happened to Buddy as an adult and then about him as a kid and then about him as an adult again, you read about events that happened to Buddy as a kid.

The author wrote it this way because it makes it easier to understand what happened and in what order. It helps the reader keep track of what is happening in a way that makes sense.

You would add that to your graphic organizer.

graphic organizer

  • Are you feeling ready to move on to the Got It? section where you can give it a try?

You are!

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