Have the students freewrite about genre for 3-5 minutes. What
is genre? Where have they dealt with genre before, both within
school and without?
2. Discuss genre as a group. What
answers did the students come up with?
up with a general, but concise definition
of genre as a class. Discuss where the
notion of drama fits in with the diagram: content, structure,
style and form.
4. Genres of different artistic
forms: painting, music, writing. Are
political speeches a genre? Train schedules?
Types: realism, impressionism, landscape painting, folk art, baroque,
classical, postmodern, surrealism, drama....
Discuss different Academic genres: History, Biology, Sociology,
5. Identification of genres:
pass out sheet with selections of different types of writing.
From Coe: What is the author trying to accomplish? (Purpose) With
whom? (Audience) Under what circumstances and in what genre?
(Occasion) What context might we infer that these passages are
from? (See sample text passages)
Examples from a different language: What might be some formal
cues that identify genre regardless of language?
6. Provide a more formal definition of genre for
7. Group activity: Using the questions from
Richard M. Coe's essay "Teaching Genre as a Process,"
have students generate answers in response to their own writing.
8. Come back to the large group to discuss what
was learned in the small groups. Now that we have answered
the "What?"and, in part, the "How?" of genre,
what about the "Why?"
9. Discuss genre as a process. Coe writes,
"Genres are socially real and that to participate effectively
in a discourse community one usually must adapt to (or around)
readers' generic expectations. They should learn to notice genres,
to make sense of genres, even to renovate genres."
Did you find that you were more able to identify genre in your
own work now and in the past?
10. Process notes: What did you learn about
genre that you didn't already know? How can you carry this into
your understanding of writing to other classes?
1. What purposes does this genre serve? How do its particular
generic structures serve those purposes?
2. How is it adapted to its particular readers? Who is the audience?
3. How is it appropriate to its context of situation? Under what
Sample Text Passages