It might seem strange to be teaching about genre at the end of the year. After all, shouldn't that be a topic for September? In September, though, it's hard enough to get fourth graders to tell the difference between narrative and expository text. Adding all of the fiction genres would be just too much.
Now it's quite a different story! As we talk about the fiction genres, the students leaf back through their reading lists, looking for examples of the genres from their reading. They have become talkative and animated, ready to debate the distinctions between genres. (Where does A Series of Unfortunate Events fit? Even though Percy solves a mystery in The Lightning Thief, why is this not really an example of the mystery genre?) Several kids really perked up at the mention of hybrid genres. Many were eager to share their love for science fiction. It really shows how far these students have come!
I made a Powerpoint to introduce the different genres. We did it over several days, talking about examples and sharing stories along the way. (They loved acting out trickster stories when we got to folktales!)
Here is a link to the Powerpoint over at Slideshare.