Last week, I wrote about a lesson that I did with my students on literary genres. It tanked. I have been wanting to get a second crack at it, and I finally found my moment today. So here it is; literary genres, take two.
Full disclosure: It went so much better today! I made a couple of changes to the lesson, so it’s hard to know exactly what made it better, but I was happy with the results.
First, since we were coming off an hour of math, I gave them a ten minute break before we started the lesson. Then, they were mentally fresh and ready to go with a new lesson. I mentioned that I wanted to do this lesson again because I didn’t feel like last week’s lesson went very well; they were surprised to hear that. Bless them. Fresh start: check.
Second, I started the lesson with more scaffolding. We talked about what a genre was and the students provided some examples. Then, we focused on giving a few (3-5) characteristics for some of the more common and easily identifiable ones: biography, autobiography, poetry, plays, realistic fiction, historical fiction, and fantasy. We went through them one at a time, but moved pretty quickly since, as a whole group, they were able to name characteristics pretty easily. We finished the minilesson with a good idea as a group what each of those seven genres were. Confidence: check.
Third, they practiced identifying the genres of short passages on task cards. They worked in partners (that they got to choose–so exciting!), and worked around the room, reading the passages and identifying literary genres. We went through each of the cards and talked about why they were each particular genre. Guided practice: check.
Fourth, they identified the genre of their independent reading book, as well as some other books they have read this year. Independent practice: check.
Literary genres: check!
All in all, it went so much better, and I feel like they have a pretty good handle on some of the more basic literary genres. I wonder what they will think about genre when they have to identify the nuances between fables, folk tales, myths, and legends. We’ll save that for another day.