Improve reading comprehension by providing a wide variety of genres for students to read. Reading across multiple genres at a range of text complexity levels helps students develop the skills needed to determine and analyze the main characteristics of various genres.
Why Use Genres
By reading a variety of texts, students are able to recognize the characteristics that define different genres. Building this background knowledge around why authors choose certain words, use different organizational structures, or other details increases students' comprehension across text types and meets the demands of today's classroom.
The Reading A-Z Genres are organized into fourteen easy-to-use groups:
- Adventure: stories that include elements of the unknown, danger, risk, or excitement
- Biography: nonfiction texts about the facts and events of a real person's life
- Fables: folktales with animals that have a moral
- Fairy Tales: folktales that contain magic and conflict between good and evil
- General Folktales: stories that may contain elements from different types of folktales, including fables, fairy tales, legends, myths, pourquoi tales, and tall tales
- How To and Process Books: texts that explain the instructions or directions for completing a task
- Interview: written accounts of conversations between two or more individuals through direct quotes
- Legends: folktales that explain events in the world after its creation; includes stories about the supernatural and adventures of real heroes
- Mysteries: suspenseful stories about a crime or other event, the writing of which involves the process of solving a puzzle
- Myths: traditional stories that involve historical events, the origins of things, or social customs, often developed with supernatural events or characters
- Persuasive: texts that attempt to convince readers to embrace a particular point of view
- Pourquoi Tales: folktales that explain the origins of a characteristic or feature, often within nature
- Pro/Con: texts that present both sides of an issue equally, allowing readers to form their own opinions based on the information presented
- Tall Tales: folktales about characters with exaggerated adventures and abilities for a dramatic and/or humorous effect
How to Use Genres
- Select a genre based on your current unit of study and learning objectives. Identify books at reading levels appropriate for your students. Explore books within a collection to increase students' understanding of the genre's characteristics. Compare books within a specific genre or across genres to increase students' critical thinking skills.
- Have students find active verbs, different sentence types, various writing structures, language rhythm, or interesting words or details and discuss why authors made those choices.
- Have students read a variety of books within a genre before writing their own story for the genre. Genre Writing Lessons from sister website Writing A-Z can also be helpful for those who are members of both websites.