Saturday, March 11, 2017

Author's Purpose = PIE

PIE'ED In the Face!

During the year I cover Author's Purpose and the acronym PIE'ED is used to describe the many different types: Persuade, Inform, Entertain, Explain and Describe. This can be a tough concept in the beginning for some of my students, especially when it comes to differentiating between them. It can also be a dull point as well. Students reading passages and just labeling them based on evidence can be daunting or worse yet boring, but thanks to Hope King and some amazing  game creators it doesn't have to be.

About a year ago I saw one of Hope King's blog posts on Elementary Shenanigans that I just had to try out. She turned her classroom into a bakery and during her Language Arts lessons students worked together to sort through task cards with different passages to decide what the authors purpose was of each. In the process, they got to play Pie in the Face. If you haven't had the luxury of playing this very fun and very messy game, the idea is that you put whipped cream on the arm piece and based on a spin of a spinner you crank the little cranks that many times. If your lucky nothing happens, but sometimes you get pied in the face. Hope created this whole lesson to drive engagement in the lesson and bring life the "Bakery" story she created. I decided to use this lesson to inspire my own bakery inside my classroom.

Similar to Hope, I bought colored table cloths at Dollar Tree and got pie tins. I also purchased face wipes, paper towels, and whipped cream for each table. After setting up each table I put one set of Pie in the Face game at each table. I was fortunate to  have four. Lucky for me they were 70% off at Walgreens the last time I went in. I also chose to print out task cards in the form of a packet for ever student. To make the lesson more manageable I had students work together on one page at a time. They had to read through the task cards then discuss the answers. I chose to use task cards that were multiple choice, but you could just use reading passages/ excerpts. Students debated and discussed and once they finished the entire page they would check in with me. I would tell them if they needed to correct one or not. If they had them all correct the Miss Lee's Bakery tradition was before they could move on they must play a round of Pie in the Face to celebrate!

The students had a blast! They loved using this activity to review what we have been studying all week. Following this activity, I created a pop quiz for students which included some questions about authors purpose as well as actually labeling and explaining the authors purpose of five passages. This of course wasn't the most exciting part of the lesson, but I acted as though this was the exam that allowed students to become true bakers. Since I teach all subjects to my students I wanted to make sure the rest of the day followed the morning theme so during math I decided to work on fractions and perimeter and area working through a packet that allowed students to create their own bakery and baked goods. The students really enjoyed it and had a great time working in pairs creating logos, commercials, and designing their bakery. I will say that this required more time than I had for one lesson so it became an enrichment project that students could work on in their free time. Also, I decided to conduct my Mystery Airhead experiment for science which had students work through the observation skills as well as using support to deduce the Mystery air Head flavor.

Overall, the day was long but very exciting for the students and I. They loved wearing their chef hat and aprons and didn't want to take them off when it was time for PE. It was so nice to see such engagement and joy in my students faces and moving forward I plan on building this into my lessons and making this a truly fun filled, learning centered day.

If you have any questions about the lesson or want to learn more feel free to contact me on Twitter or at my email:

Also, many of my lessons are semi homemade and based around Teacher Pay Teacher materials that I find so check out the links below if you are interested in some of the items I used to piece my lesson together. Also, if you are not already following Hope King at Elementary Shenanigans you need to!


Language Arts
Task Cards for PIE'ED Game
Pop Quiz Part 1
Pop Quiz Part 2

Magical Bakery
Mmm Mmm Bakery - Fractions/Multiplication
Breaking Up the Bakery - Fractions

Airhead Lab

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