TEKS Talk - SLA Authors Purpose image

Knowledge and Skills Statement

Author's purpose and craft: listening, speaking, reading, writing, and thinking using multiple texts. The student uses critical inquiry to analyze the authors' choices and how they influence and communicate meaning within a variety of texts. The student analyzes and applies author's craft purposefully in order to develop his or her own products and performances.

The following is one example of how to assess proficiency of this student expectation (SE) or a portion of the SE. More examples coming soon.
1 Passage
The Regulars

On the day of the Twin Rivers Summer Festival, Eric is excited to hang out with his friends Lisa and Carlos. Before he can go, he has to help out at his parents’ restaurant called Sam’s Deli. As Eric glumly waits for his mom and dad to return from a delivery and a pie-judging contest, he wonders why the same few people his parents call the regulars always eat at the deli and order the same type of sandwich. Because they eat at Sam’s Deli so frequently, Eric refers to them by the type of sandwich they order: Mr. and Mrs. Sandlin are the Turkey Melts, Mr. Augsburger is Corned Beef on Rye, and Mr. Bates is Ham and Cheese. Soon the deli starts filling with hungry festival attendees, and Eric struggles to fill orders and run the restaurant with his parents gone.

Read the story to see how Eric handles the difficult situation.

The Regulars

On the day of the Twin Rivers Summer Festival, Eric is excit
  1. Turkey Melt,” “Corned Beef on Rye,” and “Ham and Cheese” waved good-bye. They were three of the regulars at my parents’ deli. Every day Mr. and Mrs. Sandlin shared a turkey-melt sandwich, Mr. Augsburger had a corned beef on rye bread, and Mr. Bates ordered ham and cheese on whole wheat from his perch on the stool beside the cash register. I didn’t even know their real names until one very eventful day at the deli.
  2. It was the day of the Twin Rivers Summer Festival, and I had just been told that I had to help at the deli that afternoon instead of enjoying the event with my friends Lisa and Carlos.
  3. “Can’t we hire extra help?” I complained.
  4. “There’s not enough time to train someone else,” Mom responded. “Plus, they wouldn’t know our customers. We have to take care of our regulars because they’re part of what makes Sam’s Deli a special place.”
  5. I had to admit that Sam’s Deli served good sandwiches, but I didn’t think our sandwiches were that special. And I wouldn’t exactly consider Sam’s Deli an exciting place to hang out. A TV in the corner and people strolling past the deli’s windows were about the only sources of entertainment. Sometimes people chatted with one another about the local news, but overall our days at the deli were quiet.
  6. I know Mom and Dad appreciated our regular customers’ business. I just couldn’t understand why they fussed over them so much. Personally, I didn’t think it would hurt for some of our regulars to try a new restaurant every now and then—or at least consider ordering a different type of sandwich.
  7. “Where is Dad?” I thought to myself as I wiped off plastic menus. He had left more than an hour ago to drop off a delivery for the fire department, which was running a booth at the festival.
  8. My friends and I had been excited to hear that the fire department was planning to spray children at the festival with water to keep them cool. “Lisa and Carlos are probably soaked by now,” I thought glumly.
  9. “Thanks for cleaning the menus,” said Mom as she gathered her items for the festival’s pie-judging contest. “Your dad and I appreciate your help.”
  10. Mom glanced at her watch. “I need to leave now, Eric. But your dad should be here soon. When I get back, you can meet up with your friends for the concert and the fireworks tonight,” Mom promised.
  11. By this time the deli had no customers except the regulars.
  12. “Everyone else is enjoying the festival,” I thought to myself as I wistfully watched excited festival attendees walk by the deli window en route to the parade.
  13. Soon, though, the parade was over, and Dad was still not back. A solid wall of hungry people entered the deli’s door.
  14. “What’s today’s lunch special?” one customer called out.
  15. “Why don’t they have more people working here?” I heard another complain.
  16. I methodically took care of one order after another. I thought I was doing all right considering the crowd, but I had no time for all the other details of running a restaurant, like cleaning tables. Plus, I was running low on ice. It seemed that the machine wasn’t working as usual.
  17. Then, the next moment I had a chance to look up, Ham and Cheese handed me two large bags of ice.
  18. “Your parents get ice from down the street when your ice maker doesn’t keep up,” he informed me. “I’m Mr. Bates, by the way. The Sandlins and Mr. Augsburger and I will help you out till your folks get back.”
  19. As I thanked him, I noticed that the Turkey Melts were making room for new customers by cleaning tables as quickly as they were vacated.
  20. Together the regulars and I managed the crowd. I took orders and made sandwiches while they kept the restaurant clean and visited with customers.
  21. “Remember the time Sam’s car broke down?” Ham and Cheese asked.
  22. “We delivered sandwiches by bicycle!” Corned Beef on Rye replied.
  23. As the tidal wave of customers trickled to a stream, Mom and Dad rushed into the deli.
  24. “I couldn’t get through because of traffic,” explained Dad.
  25. “And I just got finished with the contest,” Mom said, looking anxious.
  26. “It’s all right,” I replied with a smile. “I had good help.”
  27. “Eric, why don’t you take a break and go find your friends?” Dad suggested.
  28. It was an enticing thought, but I had another idea.
  29. “Maybe later,” I said. “I have a few more orders to fill.”
  30. “We can take care of them,” Mom said. “Especially after what you’ve been through.”
  31. “That’s O.K.,” I said. “These are special orders, the most important ones of the day. After all, you have to take care of your regulars.”
  32. Carefully, I began making a turkey melt, a corned beef on rye, and a ham-and-cheese sandwich on whole wheat bread.

Read paragraph 23 from the story.

As the tidal wave of customers trickled to a stream, Mom and Dad rushed into the deli.

The author includes this figurative language to show that the —

Show Further Explanation
Show Answer
Authors purposely compare dissimilar objects through similes, metaphors, and other types of figurative language. Students should be able to explain how these comparisons are used to connect to a reader’s senses or prior experiences. For example, when an author uses a concrete metaphor to describe something abstract, the reader automatically associates the original concept with a sight, a sound, a smell, a taste, or even a touch. Describing a concept by comparing it to something vivid or familiar creates instant pictures in the mind of readers and helps readers in their understanding of the text.
a subtle comparison in which the author describes two seemingly dissimilar things using words that are not meant to be taken literally (e.g., Time is a dressmaker specializing in alterations.); an extended metaphor carries the comparison through several lines, parts, or the whole text
figurative language in which nonhuman things or abstractions are represented as having human qualities or abilities (e.g., “The parched sun crawled across the sand.”)


Palmer, B. C., Shackelford, V. S., Miller, S. C., & Leclere, J. T. (2006). Bridging two worlds: reading comprehension, figurative language instruction, and the English-language learner. Journal of Adolescent & Adult Literacy, 50(4), 258+. Retrieved from https://link.galegroup.com/apps/doc/A156736307/PROF?u=tea&sid=PROF&xid=4ec470e1

Summary: Recognizing that figurative language is a challenge for EL students, the authors consider ways to transition students from modeled practice steps in interpreting figurative language when reading to self-assessed interpretations. Specific strategies and examples are provided, including discussing with students about the importance of figurative language and its contexts.