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This lesson answers the question “What is genre?”
5, 6, 7, 8, 9
Title – What is “genre”?
By – Jennifer Frankola
Primary Subject – Language Arts
Grade Level – 5-9
Objective: SWBAT: peruse through their classroom library baskets, identify, and classify the different types of genres that are available to them. Afterwards, SWBAT compile a list of genres that they noticed in their groups and report back to the class so that we can have a master list of our taxonomy of genres.
Aim: What is “genre”?
Do Now: Write a paragraph about the best book you ever read. Tell me why it was so great. Be sure to tell me what kind of book it was.
Share (2-3 students. Be sure to prompt them for specific details about their books. Elicit “genre” types of answers).
Read aloud: Read from your own Reader’s Notebook about your favorite genre and why.
Think aloud: Did you ever walk into a library and see how it was divided into different sections? Why do you think librarians do this?
Elicit answers from students.
Explain: The word “genre” is French for “kind”. Books are classified into different genres; each have different characteristics. A “taxonomy” is a list. Today, we are going to peruse through our classroom library, basket by basket, and in the end we will have compiled a taxonomy of genres.
Demonstrate how you peruse through your basket deciding which books are which genres, and make your list in front of the students.
Have them go to their group tables (or work stations). Make sure that there are mixed baskets of different reading materials on the table ranging from periodicals to primary sources, encyclopedias, novels, poems, short stories, plays, etc. And make sure students have their notebooks, writing utensils and post-its, one piece of construction paper and a marker for their group poster.
Students should make lists in their notebooks while as a group they make their own poster. This should take about 20 minutes. Afterwards, the group reporter should present to the class their findings, and all should be added to the final taxonomy for the class library.
Students should be allowed to discuss why they chose to classify a few books in a certain genre, and also explain how publications can cross genres.
Group work should be displayed in the classroom library along with the final list.
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