Why are genre characteristics so important during this time of the year? In this introductory unit, students will read, organize, and comprehend various genres of literature about historical topics. Since the End-of-Grade test for 8th graders contain more excerpts from informational text, a shift had to be made in the curriculum to allow students more access to subgenres of nonfiction. No matter what literature is selected by teachers in this lesson, students must be successful in interpreting information from both fiction and nonfiction stories. To support students in this lesson, a variety of instructional methods will be used to have students practice citing evidences of genre characteristics found in stories.
Students will watch a video clip on the fairy tale, Little Red Riding Hood. As students watch the clip, I tell them to identify the genre, subgenre and evidences on the characters, setting, plot, theme, and dialect viewed in the clip. I chose to use a video clip to connect students to the lesson since multiple ways can be used to evaluate how students comprehend characteristics seen in genres. As the clip is viewed, I circulate the classroom to see how students respond to information viewed in the clip.
The purpose of using the elementary text allows students to recall characteristics from a tale recited to them as a young child. As the clip comes to an end, students will share their Little Red Riding Hood genre characteristics viewed in the clip. The answers discussed should include the genre as fiction, subgenre as fairy tale, and use of personified characters, realistic setting/characters, and a lesson told by the characters of the tale. I purposely posed the tasks so that students could practice citing evidences from the story to support their rationale about a genre type. In the end, this instructional choice requires students to use textual evidence to support conclusions made about genres while paying more attention to the text and less on prior knowledge to validate their answers.
To move students beyond the Identifying the Impact of Genre Characteristic lesson, students will work cooperatively to complete the genre-worksheet. I will state to students,
"Now that you are becoming experts in identifying genre characteristics, it's time to find them in literary text."
The purpose of this activity is to intentionally allow students to determine that not all genre characteristics are found within a text. In order to determine this phenomenon, students must first read the paragraph, highlight examples of genre characteristic, determine its type, and use textual evidence to support their opinion.
See student example 1 & student example 2 to view written opinions students gave to support the answers to their questions. Also, listen to my reflection of genre and subgenre handout to see the true importance of this activity in the lesson.
Students will show their understanding of genre characteristics by completing a genre project. I go over the expectations and grading rubric for this project at this point in the lesson to challenge students in how they will create an "A" worthy project. Since this is the first day of the project being assigned, I allow the rest of class time for pairs to access reading material(s), read over the genre, and develop a plan for their final project. I decided to differentiate the learning processes and products of this activity to allow students the opportunity to utilize information at levels that will create challenges yet solid learning experiences for students.
Students will work in pairs to complete this research. With this project given in the second week of school, I must establish expectations in how writing and visual presentations are done in front of peers. Every moment students connect with one another is a teaching-learning opportunity. The completion of the project requires students to show their reading and writing skills in intricate ways. For students to show their comprehension of genre characteristics, projects will consist of creating a comic strip detailing the characteristics of a particular genre through a fictional representation while my gifted classes will create an endorsement letter comparing and contrasting two opposite genres, characteristics, and its impact on a story. The guidelines for all projects are listed here: AG-Genre Study Mini Project, GT-Genre Study Mini Project, and Genre.Study.project.handouts.
Here are all of the resources used for this lesson: