December 6. 2016
In exploring genre study, we advocate teaching and learning in
which students are engaged in exploration. By engaging deeply and consistently with a variety of high-quality texts, students build an internal foundation of
information on which they can base further learning. They learn how to develop
genre understandings and can apply their thinking to any genre.
Genre study is a foundational inquiry that involves several steps
and gives students the tools they need to navigate a variety of texts with deep
Try these six broad steps in genre study:
1. Collect a set of high-quality mentor texts that are clear
examples of the genre.
2. Immerse students in several clear examples of the genre in
various instructional contexts.
3. Study the common characteristics that are always and often
evident of the genre.
4. Define the genre using the list of characteristics to create a
short working definition.
5. Teach specific mini lessons on the genre characteristics.
6. Read and Revise the lists and definition as needed and expand
students’ genre understanding.
When students understand genre, they can engage more deeply with
texts. To learn more about genre study through inquiry-based learning, please
reference Genre Study: Teaching with
Fiction and Nonfiction Books