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If you are creating genre lesson plans, then you should typically begin by considering the standards or other requirements you may need to meet for your lessons in your area. You should think about introducing the concept of “genre” before a longer unit on different types of genres and then reinforcing the idea throughout the unit. Once you know what you need to teach in your genre lesson plans, you can begin developing a plan that introduces the idea of “genre” and provides students with numerous examples. You may even allow your students to come up with their own ideas of different genres before refining the list down into established categories.
As you start to create your genre lesson plans, you should consider what materials and specific understanding you need to ensure your students possess. This can typically be done by consulting with any standards or guidelines for requirements you may have in your area. In the US, for example, you have district and state standards you need to meet, so you should ensure your genre lesson plans are designed to meet these standards and give your students a functional understanding of what genres are.
Genre lesson plans are typically developed to introduce students to the idea of “genres” and ensure students understand the concept. You might begin by providing your students with the word “genre” itself, as your students may have never encountered it before. As you introduce your students to the idea, you might tell them the origins of the word — it is from the French word for “kind” or “sort” — and that it can be applied to a number of different fields.
Once your students understand the basic idea of “genre,” then your genre lesson plans should allow your students to explore the idea in an interactive way. Most students learn better by doing something or engaging with a concept directly, rather than by merely hearing about it or writing down a definition. Beginning with the definition in your genre lesson plans is a good idea, but you should be sure to move beyond that and let your students interact with the concept.
There are different ways to achieve this in your genre lesson plans, but you might consider having students look at your classroom library or have them list movies, books, and television shows they enjoy. In either approach, you should write down the names of different works on a large board. You can then have your students begin describing the different works as shortly as possible, preferably with a single word.
As your students provide short descriptions for each work, you can then begin grouping and arranging the works together by these types, illustrating how works are categorized by genre. The students are likely to discover that they already understood genre, but simply did not know the name for it. You can use this process to refine their understanding of different categories down to a simple list of established categories such as romance, fantasy, fiction, and mystery.
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