It’s difficult to get elementary students to understand and identify genres. The genre table is a strongly visual and interactive center that helps with this challenge. Students select a book from one of two genres that are labeled with signs defining each.
|This is an example of a genre table in a 3-6 classroom.|
|This is an example of a genre table in a K-2 classroom.|
They are also given opportunities to write their own stories to support their understanding. For example, when we displayed informational/nonfiction books, one of my students wrote a nonfiction book about spiders and wanted to put it on the table! The teacher can change the genres monthly or biweekly depending on the learning pace of his or her class.
Throughout the year, revisit genres that students had a difficult time comprehending or genres they particularly enjoyed. It’s also fun to compare and contrast different genres (eg. Display ghost stories and fairy tales for 2 weeks and later display ghost stories and legends).
My students wait excitedly each time the table changes just to see what’s next. They also become experts at identifying genres in our guided reading groups each week.