First Up: Help Students Develop & Use Genre Knowledge for Strategic Reading

  • by Kelly Harmon & Randi Anderson
  • Sept. 5, 2016, 4:41 p.m.

Genre Study

Students need to be immersed in various genres throughout the year. Start each genre study with a book flood in your classroom. A book flood is simply a collection of books in the genre that students listen to, read, and analyze. Letting students uncover the genre characteristics and elements on their own is key! They will have to use their inferencing skills to discover how the genre works by noticing similarities and differences across texts. #whoisdoingthework

Levels of Teaching Genre

In the book Genre Study, by Fountas & Pinnell recommend setting up an inquiry for each genre study.

1. Collect

Collect mentor texts and independent level texts for the book flood.

2. Immerse

Give students opportunities to explore examples of the genre they are studying.

3. Study

Analyze characteristics, elements, and structures of the genre. What do you notice the genre always has? What does it sometime, or often, have?

Create an anchor chart for the genre that lists "always" and "often."

4. Define

Create a class definition of the genre using the list of "always" and "often."

5. Teach

Teach the genre features in your mini lessons. Use your grade level standards to determine learning outcomes related to the genre.

6. Read and Revise

Expand students' understanding by continuing to read and explore the genre.

For more in depth information about teaching genre, attend one of our October workshops on Empowering Readers! For more information, click here!

Kelly Harmon and Randi Anderson

About The Authors

Kelly Harmon & Associates began in 2001 with a mission of instructional coaching and providing rich literacy resources for educators and parents. Our work incorporates research-based best practices for teaching and learning.

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