Question Detail

How do you teach your students to blend genres in their writing?

Apr 27, 2016 8:09pm

The CCSS includes three discrete "text types and purposes" in the standards, privileging argument, followed by explanatory/informative, and, in a distant third, narrative writing. And while the ELA Appendix A does note that "Skilled writers many times use a blend of these three text types to accomplish their purposes," I have seen few examples of how teachers and especially schools are taking up this idea of "Texts that Blend Types."

I'm asking this question as a former English teacher, current teacher librarian, and current doctoral student in the University of Iowa's Language, Literacy, and Culture program. Thomas Newkirk's book "Minds Made for Stories" is a beautiful story of the foundational power of narrative in all types of writing, and I'm interested in hearing stories and seeing examples of assignments and curriculum documents that embrace writing that defies rigid categories. Thanks in advance for sharing your examples!

  • English Language Arts / Science / Social Studies
  • Pre K-12
  • Common Core


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    • May 2, 2016 8:26pm

      Thanks, Debra. Is this an approach your school has taken on? I'm really curious to see how teachers are banding together to create a culture of writing beyond rigid formulas.

      • May 9, 2016 8:51am

        To my knowledge, none of the schools in my district have created a class-wide culture related to blending genres, no. Some schools have adopted a particular writing standard for a semester so that everyone can collaborate and share methods across the disciplines.