Study: An Exposé
Project URL: http://teachnet-lab.org/berkowitz/genre/genre_index.htm
This project is designed
to promote literacy involvement for middle school/high school students
by addressing most of the New York State English Language Arts Standards.
It is an in-depth examination of a specific genre and its features.
After reading several novels written by various authors but belonging
to the same category, students compare and contrast the settings,
characters, plots, themes, and genre features found in the novels.
They examine how these things impact story development; study the
different writing styles, and make an informed judgment as to the
most accomplished author. Each group is composed of two students who
have read the books of the specific genre. The project is displayed
on a project/tri-board, and the display is scored for neatness, content,
writing mechanics, original format and technology, oral presentation,
and eye-catching display. Students write expository and persuasive
essays, compose responses to letters, and create tests for each novel
they read. Using the Internet, they research the authors’ lives and
attempt to find the parts of those lives that are woven into the novels.
The project culminates in an oral presentation.
read at least four books and informational materials and documents, and produce an
informational report, a response to literature, and a persuasive
essay. Additionally, they participate in one-on-one conferences and
group meetings, prepare and deliver presentations, and make
an informed judgment about the novels they have read. They demonstrate an understanding of the rules of the English language in
written and oral work, and analyze and subsequently revise work for
clarity and effectiveness. Finally, students respond to non-fiction,
fiction, and poetry using interpretive and critical processes.
encouraged to word-process
their project materials and are required to do
research using the Internet. Additional project enhancements will be
computer-generated using images and pictures retrieved from the
This project was designed
for a basic-skills/average eighth-grade English Language Arts class.
These students completed the Author Study project as seventh graders
and needed an incentive to read, as well as a vehicle to display their
abilities in a positive and productive manner. The project can be
modified for younger grades or high school classes.
The best feature of Genre
Study: An Exposé is the completed project tri-board. When
finished, they are quite colorful and display the literary work of
each group. The children are thrilled to see their work and have a
tremendous feeling of accomplishment. These boards are a tribute to
the class and can be used year after year for decorative purposes
in the classroom and as models for students who are working on the
The project lessons are extremely user-friendly. Students will need a copy of
each worksheet for project implementation.
About the teacher:
Elissa Berkowitz is a
part-time literacy coach and teaches reading at I.S.62 Ditmas in
Brooklyn. She teaches on the high school and college levels as well.
She enjoys reading and writing projects that promote literacy, and
wishes that there would be more hours in the day to allow for
additional creative writing time.