Share the Genre

August 10, 2010 at 11:31 AM Leave a comment

by: Jennifer Perez

Each year, I spend the 1st 20 days of school teaching my students how our reading community works.  I use the First 20 Days by Fountas and Pinnel to pin point areas in which I want to address with my students such as:

  • How reading creates meaning
  • How to create a reading community
  • How to choose the correct books for them ~ Easy, Just Right or Challenging.

Afterwards, I spend some time teaching my students about all of the different types of reading ‘groups’ available for them to read.  These reading groups can be/are classified by genres.  According to Dictionary.com a genre is:

1: a kind of literary or artistic work

2: a style of expressing yourself in writing [syn: writing style, literary genre]

3: a class of artistic endeavor having a characteristic form or technique

The genres in which I explicitly teach my students are the following: Realistic Fiction, Fantasy, Historical Fiction, Informational, Biography, Fairy Tales, Mystery and Poetry.  (There are more genres than the ones listed-I have chosen these according to my student’s needs.)

Here are some teacher-friendly definitions that will be sure to help your children learn their genres quickly!  Thank You Book Nuts Reading Club for the information!

  1. Realistic Fiction ~ Stories that take place in modern times.  The characters in these stories are involved in events that could really happen.
  2. Fantasy ~ This is fiction based around ‘make-believe.’  What happens in these stories is not realistic and CANNOT happen such as talking animals and magic.
  3. Historical Fiction ~ These stories take place during a specific time period in the past.  Usually, the characters are fictional, but the setting is real.
  4. Informational ~ Informational texts give you information about a specific topic.
  5. Biography ~ These are true stories about someone written or told by another person.
  6. Fairy Tales ~ These are narratives that are believed to not be true.  The characters are one-dimensional, the setting is timeless (once upon a time) and in unidentified places.  (the woods).
  7. Mystery ~ Fictional stories, usually realistic, about a mysterious event which is not explained or a crime that is not solved until the end of the story to keep the reader in suspense.
  8. Poetry ~ Poetry is verse written to create a response of thought and feeling from the reader.  It often uses rhythm and rhyme to help convey its meaning.

Depending on my student’s ability to grasp these genres, I may/may not spend an equal amount of time on each genre.  If I observe my students grasping a specific genre well, then I may choose to move on to the next one.  I will also make it a point to make sure my students are still reviewing past genres that were learned in class by:

  • Incorporating genres into morning work
  • During center work activities
  • Assigning homework with specific genres
  • Planning projects
  • And more!

The really important factors here are your students!  You will know them best so just take it a few days or weeks at a time!  They will let you know what they need and then you can take it from there!!

Happy Genre Sharing!

© Jennifer Perez 8/9/10

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