Our Comparing Genres Lesson Plan enables students to identify, compare the key elements of, and synthesize different genres of literature. Utilize anchor charts to interactively explore and explain key definitions and elements for the major genres of fiction and nonfiction. Paired with an opportunity for peer learning, students engage in reading, discussing, and writing various fiction and nonfiction genres with a partner to expand their literary awareness.
Sample Classroom Procedure / Teacher Instruction
- Call students to the carpet/front of the room to sit together. In the center of the floor, have a bag full of books that the students cannot see into. Include genres of informational nonfiction, historical fiction, realistic fiction, fantasy, science fiction, poetry, biography and mystery if possible. If you have certain genres you will want to focus on during the lesson on comparing genres, stick to the ones you think will be most important/ beneficial. One by one, ask for a volunteer to come up to the bag and remove one book at a time. Once they pull one out (without looking), they will read the title and tell what kind of book they think it is by genre. If students are unfamiliar with specific genres, they can decide if the book is fiction or nonfiction.
- On the board create a list of all the genres you have identified, grouping into fiction or nonfiction. Place poetry collections (if used), in between, and explain poems are classified as nonfiction in the library system, but poems can relate to fiction or nonfiction topics.
- Say, “Today we’re going to start comparing and examining different genres of literature. Good readers are familiar with a wide range of literature because the older you get, the more different types you will need to read and study. It is important to know the key elements of the most important genres. Help me create a list of the important elements you know about each of these genres. If we don’t know much about a genre, don’t worry, we will learn more about it this week.”
- Taking student suggestions and also adding key elements from the sample anchor charts below, create two anchor charts or posters that explain key definitions and elements for some of the major genres of fiction and nonfiction literature. As you create the anchor charts, have students copy them into their language arts notebook or some other paper they can refer to at their desks.
- After students finish copying the anchor chart, have them complete activity page one with a partner, where they will read two passages and decide the genre of each passage. Then students and the teacher will go over the answers as a group and discuss what key elements identified the genres.
- Assign the homework today, which will take two days to complete. The assignment will require students to complete their own short pieces in two different genre categories, using their notes to make sure they contain several key elements of the genres they choose.
- Second day: Review the genres by asking students to put away notebooks and covering the anchor charts you created. Ask them questions such as “Which genre contains clues to solving an unexplained event? Which genre uses a real time period, but fictional characters?” etc.
Common Core State Standards: CCSS.ELA-LITERACY.RL.5.9, CCSS.ELA-LITERACY.RL.6.9
Want more reading resources? Check out our other Reading Lesson Plans!