Literacy 4-6

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Literacy 4-6 > Factors > Genre Knowledge

Genre Knowledge

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Writing and reading different types of texts requires a complex set of skills. Writing in a specific genre requires using genre-appropriate Vocabulary and Syntax and knowing and including the key genre elements in a logical order. Learning how to fully understand the information they read across these genres also requires a deep understanding of the genre-specific qualities that upper elementary students must develop.

Main Ideas

There are several different genres students need to master to be successful writers and readers, and each includes its own structure, tone, Vocabulary, and Syntax based on our culture's genre conventions. There are two main genre categories.

Narrative writing tells a story and includes a setting, main character(s), initiating event, internal plan, attempts to carry out the plan, outcome, and reaction of character(s).

Expository writing provides information with the goal of educating the reader. Some forms of expository writing include:

  • Persuasive writing is used to persuade the reader to agree with the writer's point of view by providing facts that support the writer's position. The writer must properly describe the issue, explain their opinion using facts, and summarize their argument. Successful persuasive writers include an introduction (the background of the problem and a position statement), a body (reasons to support/refute the position statement and elaboration), and a well-developed conclusion.
  • Informative or explanatory writing tells the reader about a topic to help them better understand a process, procedure, or concept with no attempt to sway the reader to agree with the writer's opinion. Some important elements include an introduction (opening sentence introducing the topic and a thesis statement), a body (main ideas and elaboration), and a well-developed conclusion.

As students' studies in the upper elementary years and beyond include more reading to learn in different content areas, it is important for children to master the skills they need to read different types of expository texts. Knowledge of these genres helps strengthen both reading and writing skills. Successfully reading and composing texts from each of these genres requires knowledge of the appropriate macrostructure and microstructure. Macrostructure is the organization and inclusion of important genre elements for each composition type. At this age, microstructure includes properly learning and using academic language including a diverse Vocabulary and complex Syntax.

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