Genre Activities... FREE Printables!

One of my goals for the first month of school has always been to get to know my students as readers. I want to know what types of books interest them, and which books bore them, and then I use this information to recommend certain books to my students throughout the year. These discussions pop up naturally when we review the genres with our students... everyone seems to want to share whether or not they enjoy reading a certain genre. Therefore, genre is a topic I dive into early in the school year with as many engaging and meaningful activities as possible! Today, I am going to share three genre activity ideas with you!
Looking for genre activities to engage your upper elementary students? This blog post contains a genre anchor chart plus two more genre activities! Free printables, too!

Activity #1- Anchor Chart

This is a second-day activity in my classroom, because I use my Genre PowerPoint on Day #1 to introduce the topic. To prepare for this anchor chart activity, three things need to be done in advance. First, I make the anchor chart "base", which looks like this:
Genre Anchor Chart
Second, I print my definition phrases on sticky notes. (Click on the image below to download these free phrases. There are instructions listed for printing on sticky notes, or check out Courtney's blog post if you would like to see a tutorial with photos.)
Genre anchor chart sticky notes- plus two more free activities!
The third and final preparation task is to print a genre response sheet for each student. (You can download this free sheet also, by clicking on the image below.) This sheet is super important, because it keeps EVERYONE engaged in the entire lesson! I print the sheets on cardstock and slip them into a reusable dry-erase pocket or a page protector sleeve. (After our genre unit is complete, I gather them, and store them away so that they are ready to use again next year.)
Genre Identification Activity for the upper elementary classroom- plus two more free activities!
When it's time to begin the lesson, I hand each student a genre response sheet, a dry-erase marker, and an eraser. Then, I read one of the sticky notes, and tell students to circle the genre they think is being described. After a short discussion, we place the sticky note in the correct area of the anchor chart, and we move on to the next sticky note. Throughout the lesson, I'm making notes on a clipboard, marking which students are having difficulty, and which genres are the most confusing for students. As a result, this activity serves as a formative assessment! When we have finished, our anchor chart looks like this:
Genre anchor chart and free printables!

Activity #2- Identifying Genres

Minimal preparation is required for this activity. I only need to visit the school library (or classroom library) and check out a wide variety of books. I aim to pick out a few for each genre.
Genre activities for the upper elementary classroom! Free printables!
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Students will once again use their genre response sheets, dry-erase marker, and eraser. To begin, I simply display a book, and read its title. I also read the blurb on the back or share a short "teaser" that provides clues as to what genre the book belongs to. Again, students circle the genre  that they think the book belongs to on their response sheet, and then we have a short discussion to reveal the answer.
Genre activities for the upper elementary classroom- free printables are included!

Activity #3- Genre Minibooks

The only thing I need to do to prepare for this third activity is gather some old Scholastic book order forms and a sheet of blank white paper for each student. (Also, if you don't know how to make a tiny 8-page mini book, check out this one-minute video: )

After guiding students on how to form their mini book, they write "Genres" on the cover of their mini book while I distribute a book order form to each student. I instruct my students to find as many different genres in the book order as possible. When they find a book that belongs to a genre, they cut out the image and glue it to one of the pages of their mini book. After the image is glued in place, students need to label the genre they found.
Genre sorting activity for the upper elementary classroom- plus two more free activities!

If you are looking for additional genre activities, feel free to check out the following resources in my TpT store:
Genre PowerPoint- introduce your students to 14 genres. Lots of opportunities to practice identifying genres!

Genre Book Display Craftivity- students identify 12 genres... great bulletin board idea!
I used this craftivity with 4th and 5th grade students. If you want to see the one I used with third grade students, click here.

I hope some of the activities I shared will be helpful to you as you and your students explore genres this year. Thanks for stopping by!

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