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Genre Studies

Compiled By: Mrs. G

Great ideas to introduce and enrich a students understanding of genre.

Posted by: Brooke

On another subject... I saw that you posted about teaching genres. I taught my students about different genres for fiction earlier this year. I created a power point and broke down the genres as follows: fantasy, fairy tale, folktale, myth, legend, and fable. On each slide a put what the characteristics are of each genre and the students actually learned what each genre was in about 45 minutes. It was amazing. Then we created posters on chart paper to hang in the room. One for each genre. We listed the characteristics and then sometimes when we read books aloud, we write the title under the correct genre. I don't know if this makes any sense, but it really worked. My students know the genres.

idea of genre
Posted by: Love3rdGrade

You might want to introduce the whole idea of genres to your students as a lesson near the beggining of the year. I printed out her posters and laminated them for my room. Our reading series does genre focus throughout the year but in the beginning of the year I talk about how books are categorized. Then I show the posters one by one and discuss them and the kids chime in saying "I know that book." or we brainstorm books or stories that fit the genre. Then I challenge them to read different genres from our library. You could post them in your room near your own library for them to use as a reference and make sure that you as the kids about what genres they are reading.

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Genre Box
Posted by: Jackie

I did something last year that worked well. I bought one of the larger index card boxes. Then, I bought the index dividers that have numbers on them. I had a sheet of paper that was the size of the index card that said: name, date, genre, summary of book. I made copies of the paper on different colored paper, depending on the genre. For example, if they read a historical fiction book, they wrote their summary on a green sheet of paper. Then, they would put their paper behind their number in the index card box. I could easily tell just by looking at colors what genres they had read. Also, it helps them practice writing a summary!
Hope this helps!

Posted by: Tia


I don't have a website for you, but I teach 6th, and these are the genre categories I use:

realistic fiction
historical fiction
fantasy/science fiction
(There, of course, is some overlap!)

These are the 9 we focus on for the 9 months of school--they must read a particular genre each month. I also have a small section in my library devoted to horror (no book report allowed here) and miscellaneous (all those joke books!), poetry, folktales/myths/fairy tales, and student-generated books.

Hope that helps.

Genre bingo
Posted by: Christy

We discussed genres as a class- classic, adventure, fiction, non fiction, etc. Then I gave out blank bingo boards and had the students fill in the squares with different genres. The purpose is get bingo by reading different books that fit each genre. After they have read one and conferenced with me then they can put an x in that square. When they get five across or down or diagonal I will give them a prize- probably a book or something. I just started this but so far the kids seem to enjoy it. Not only am I getting them to read they are also reading different types of books. Let me know if you have any questions.

book reports
Posted by: tia

chris, years ago i decided that one of my goals in reading was to get kids to expand their reading horizons and read books in genres other than those in their "comfort zone".

each month we focus on a different genre.
i talk about the genre and build it up--even my least favorite, ugh, historical fiction.

my read aloud book is from this genre, the stories or novel we read that month is from the genre, and so is the book of their choosing for their book report.

my book reports change from time to time--like this year, i want to change one to a powerpoint presentation...

but here follows the usual:

1. auto/biography--students become the person they read about (with costume and props) and present their lives (i've heard of teachers who have a wax museum--students stand there in costume--visitors are invited, and when they press some button, the kids recites his/her info.)

2. non-fiction--students demonstrate (with a large prop--poster, replica...) to the class what they learned about the subject--man, i've learned a lot of things from them!

3. classic or award winner--the traditional 4 paragraph report 1P=plot 2P=interesting character 3P=interesting part of book 4P=

4. mystery (my favorite! 1 excellent mystery for 6th graders is the westing game--i like to read the treasure of alpheus winterborn at the same time--great compare/contrast books!!!)
anyway, here i have students write me a letter from a character in the book (doesn't have to be the detective--could be the bad guy or a "flat" character). the letter has 3 paragraphs: description of self, what the mystery is, and how it is solved.

5.humor create a diorama of the funniest scene in the book and place a 3x5 card on top explaining it

6. fantasy/sci-fi create a mobile--with four parts--each part has an illustration and a description of something from the book that is "fantastical"

7. historical fiction (did i say yuk?)
i have them create a new cover for the book--front is illustration, title, and author
front inside is a paragraph summary
back inside is an explanation of what makes the book hs. fctn.
back is opinion

8.adventure poster with illustration showing an adventurous part--lots of description and adjectives--like a movie poster

9. realistic fiction--create a 3-D poster with stuff they find around the school and house
representations of character, plot, mood, setting must be present--and explanations for each thing must be on the back

i ALWAYS show them what i expect. i do book reports too so they can SEE what i'm talking about and compare their effort to how much effort i put into my book reports.

my classroom library is organized by genre, and the books all have a genre sticker on them to make it easier for them. at the beginning of the month, i share and book talk with them some of my recommends for that genre.

Posted by: Maggie

When I taught fourth grade I had a wheel (large round circle drawn on paper divided into sections). Each section listed a different genre and was divided into three parts. I gave each student a copy of the wheel to be kept in their folder. When they finished reading a book they had to color in one of the 3 sections for that genre. They couldn't read any more than 3 books for each genre before they had to pick another genre. I had one little girl who loved the Boxcar books. She would have spent the entire year reading that series if I didn't make her choose other genres. So after 3 Boxcar books she had to find something different to read. I kept track of their wheels to ensure they were varying their books. For those children who read a lot they could get a new wheel when they completed the first one. It was a very visually way for them to see what choices they had and for me to see what they were reading. They were also required to turn in a very simple paper on each book which basically listed the title, author,genre, something they liked about the book and whether they would recommend it to a friend or not and why. It only took a few minutes to fill out in class when they had a free moment.I used these to see how many books they were reading in a marking period. I gave extra credit for their independent reading.

Posted by: Brooke S.

I just performed my play for the parents last night (or actually my kids performed it, I directed it). We begin genre studies at the beginning of the year. I make a poster out of chart paper for each genre. It lists the characteristics for the genre and then we add book titles as we read throughout the year. Then the students choose which genre they would like to use for a play. The students then choose a book in the genre. They write their own scripts based on the book. I had 36 students last year and we did 6 little plays (about 10-15 min. for each one). This year I have 19 and we did 4 plays. It is a blast. We did Fable (The Wolf Who Cried Boy), Fairy Tale (Jack and the Beanstalk), Myth (The Golden Apples) and Fantasy (Rumpelstiltskin's Daughter). I hope this helps.

Genre definitions

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Posted by: Susan S.

The best way to introduce it would be to use picture books that you can read with them. Start off by doing a graphic organizer (like a web or KWL chart) with that genre. Let the kids do an anticipation guide where they write what they think that genre or particular book would be like, then read the book. After reading, let them check their predictions with the book. Then make a separate chart for them to write notes on each genre as you do them. On that same chart, you can give some examples of books on their reading level that are that genre. It would help to have samples of those books (go to the library to get some) and read the backs to them. Should peak their interest!

Interesting idea
Posted by: dolmansaxlil

We use "Passports to Genre" in Language. The kids get passports and each page is a different literary genre, and they get a stamp each time they read anything that fits the genre. If they get a stamp on each page, they get a little prize. The kids like it, and I've seen a few kids get into a new genre because they read a short story just to get the stamp, and ended up liking it!

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