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TeachNet NYC: Lesson Plans

Genre Study: An Exposé

Project URL: http://teachersnetwork.org/teachnet-lab/berkowitz/genre/genre_index.htm


How it works:
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.

Standards addressed:  
Students 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.

Materials used:
Students are 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 Internet.

The students:
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.

Overall value:
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 project.
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.


Subject Areas:  

Grade Levels: 



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