Friday, April 12, 2013

Cross Genre Writing in First Grade

As much as we as teachers, do not like it, there are times when students are tested on their skills as writers. One way to prepare them for this is to revisit the genres that they have been writing all year. This also is a chance for those students who always seem to write about the same topic no matter what the genre is. They just have a passion for that topic.

In first grade the students have written in these genres: Personal narratives, Realistic Fiction, Opinion/Persuasive, and Informational (How-To, All About). These are the genres that would be focused on in this Cross Genre study. Students would take a topic they are passionate about and write in each of those genres.

It might look like this with the topic of DOGS:

Genre                                         Example

1. Personal Narr.                      A story about you and a dog
2. Realistic Fiction                    Story about made-up character and dog
3. Informational                        All About Dogs
4. Opinion/Persuasive              Why dogs make the best pets

The first step would be to have mentor texts available using one topic in these genres. Here is an example with the topic being Fireflies:

Personal Narr. Fireflies by Julie Brinckloe
Realistic Fiction: The Very Lonely Firefly by Eric Carle
Informational:  Living Lights;  Fireflies in Your Backyard by Nancy Loewen
Opinion/Persuasive:  A letter written by the teacher about saving fireflies

 Writing one genre a day is a great way to start this unit of study.  After those four days, then they may go back and work on finishing the pieces or revising and editing them.  A folder of writing with the focus on one topic could be the end of the unit goal.


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