Literacy 4-6

Systems Change
Literacy 4-6 > Strategies > Direct Instruction: Genre-specific Writing Strategies

Direct Instruction: Genre-specific Writing Strategies


Explicitly teaching strategies for different genres, like narrative or persuasive writing, helps students write for different purposes and audiences. Helping students recognize and appreciate the structures and Syntax used for different genres builds their Genre Knowledge. Learning these genre-specific qualities also helps them practice including varied kinds of information and elaborating in their writing, thus strengthening their Verbal Reasoning.

Use It in the Classroom

Learn how this sixth grade teacher introduces the genre of argumentative writing. She builds upon students' understanding of the six traits of writing and explains what the traits look like in this genre. Watch how she also integrates other teaching methods, such as gestures and turn-and-talk, to reinforce what they have learned before encouraging them to write their own piece within this genre.

  • Teachers can introduce components of writing, such as form, voice, and sentence and paragraph structure, then build upon them to explain the differences between genres. Combining recognizing different reading genres and using genre-specific writing strategies also help students understand the nuances of the genres more deeply, supporting retention in Long-term Memory.
  • Design It into Your Product

    Videos are chosen as examples of strategies in action. These choices are not endorsements of the products or evidence of use of research to develop the feature.

    Watch how the Writing Prompt app provides different prompts along with specific genres to help learners decide what to write about. At 1:58, you can see the "sketches" option that provides three pictures as prompts and defines the genre and the type of writing it entails.

  • Developers can integrate genre-specific instructions to support students' Working Memory along with writing prompts to help learners practice writing different genres. Adding checklists for the genres can also guide students to self-monitor their genre understanding.
  • Factors Supported by this Strategy