Writing Genres: Helping your students write in different genres.
I don't know the statistics, but I would guess that over 80% of your writing lessons focus on narrative writing. I know I did in my classroom. Once in a while I'd throw in a lesson on writing a letter, and once a year that animal research report, but not much else throughout the year.
A few years ago I attended a conference and one of the ideas presented was teaching the genres of writing through one topic. I think the topic she used to demonstrate the idea was horses, an appealing topic for most kids. She had her students write a fantasy story about a flying horse, an informative piece about caring for a horse, a persuasive piece about the best breed of horse, a poem about a horse and a descriptive piece about how it feels to ride a horse. Using just one topic, horses, the students gained a much better understanding of the differences between the genres.
Light bulbs went on all over the room! Every teacher began thinking about topics that would interest their students and would work easily with different genres. Since it was winter I came up with my first genre writing project with a snowman theme. The kids loved it! And I loved it too, because it was an easy way to introduce the different genres and get the kids exciting about writing. The next year I added the scarecrow project to my fall writing schedule and followed up in the winter with the snowman project again.
I've polished these ideas and now have them available in my TPT store, along with a Spring Garden Writing project, added this past spring.
In each packet you'll find 6 different genres (the genres vary slightly with each project), writing guides/checklists, graphic organizers and final writing papers for publishing into a book. (Click on the image for a free sample from my Scarecrow Genre Writing Project)
For more great ideas for Fall, head over to Teaching Science with Lynda.
And then check out Crockett's Classroom on TPT for all three genre writing projects: