Two activities brought the students' understanding of author's purpose to a deeper level.
The first activity is an adapted version of a Skittles activity I saw on Pinterest. Ms. Gros had to change it a bit because fun size packs of Skittles are a seasonal item -- who knew???
Anyway, she bought M&Ms and they worked just as well. Each student received a bag and had to write a few sentences to Persuade, Inform, and Entertain.
The next day, student pairs were given a random object (such as a greeting card, toothbrush, stuffed animal, Pez dispenser, tote) and an author's purpose. Using their object, the pairs wrote according to their purpose. When each pair was complete, they read their writing and the class had to determine what their purpose for writing (persuade, inform, entertain) was.