Tuesday, 5 March 2013

Using Picture Books to Teach Genres

I love picture books for sooo many reasons, but one thing I love to use them for is to introduce topics in the classroom. Almost any topic and in any classroom. There are so many great picture books that teach lessons, introduce cross-curricular subjects, introduce a new topic, etc. During my practicum as a student teacher I ended up using picture books to teach the students about genre. The first picture book I brought out was oohed and aahed (The Lorax to teach story elements) over and I was suddenly relieved as I wasn't sure how picture books would be received in an intermediate classroom.

From there I went through the same formula and I loved it. I would introduce a genre, talk about the different elements/characteristics of the genre, then introduce an excerpt from a novel. As a class we would go over the excerpt, and the students would point out the different clues that told us to what genre the book belonged.

After that first introductory lesson, I would do a read-aloud of a picture book and as a class, would fill out a genre-specific graphic organizer (that I had created before I knew about clipart and fun fonts).

I would then provide students with picture books and have them work with partners to fill out their own graphic organizers.

Since this occurred during a time when the students were doing their own novel studies, this was a perfect way for them to use the information provided to them during these mini-lessons, to figure out the genre of the novel they were reading independently, while providing evidence to support their conclusions of course.

It was always fun to find new picture books to fit the genres I was teaching, introduce the students to new genres, and watch as they tried to figure out the genres of their own books.

I recently updated my Literary Genres Unit, so if you are interested, click on any of the pictures or {HERE} to check it out! I've included informative posters (that can be used as handouts for the students), a suggested book list, tons of graphic organizers (genre specific and generic), story elements & fiction/non-fiction sorts, original short stories for each genre, a genre quiz and full instructions on how I teach the unit.

I have to mention that the suggested picture book list only focusses on picture books and is very brief. I've given a few suggestions for each genre, but must mention that there are so many more fantastic books to be used, I just didn't bother writing them all out.

Let me know how you teach genres in the classroom. Do you have genre-specific books you love to use? Let me know as I always love to hear of more fantastic picture books to add to my collection!

1 comment:

  1. Our school gave us Genre libraries a few years back when we began Reader's & Writer's Workshop Models. There are a lot of good books, but I am definitely lacking in picture books! I do love using them with my classes though. I am your newest follower!

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