Thinking Through Genre

  • Title:Thinking Through Genre: Units of Studying Reading and Writing Workshops
  • Author:Heather Lattimer
  • Publication Date:2003
  • Grade Level:4-12
  • ISBN:9781571103529
  • Publisher:Stenhouse


Being able to read and write in a variety of genres is a common requirement for today's students. Thinking through Genre supports English teachers who seek to engage their students in genre studies in the reading and writing workshop. The book profiles six different units of study: memoir, feature article, editorial, short story, fairy tale, and response to literature. Each study is set in an individual fifth- through tenth-grade classroom and is described from its theoretical foundations, through the planning for the specific needs of the students, to the teaching, and finally evaluation.

Each chapter features:

  • An exemplary model of the genre. Written by professional authors who are masters of their craft, these models provide readers with a rich foundation in the specific genre.
  • Unit planning guides. The planning guides provide an outline of learning objectives and their progression in both reading and writing workshops.
  • Sample lessons. Practical sample lessons in both reading and writing workshop are woven into the descriptions of each unit.
  • Examples of student work. Examples of student reading responses and written work provide models that can be used in the classroom.
  • Assessment measures. Evaluation suggestions are included in every chapter. An appendix provides examples of rubrics used for specific genres.
  • Lists of resources. Helpful books and periodicals are listed at the end of each chapter to assist teachers in gathering materials for genre studies in their own classrooms.

The classroom-focused nature of this book brings each study to life while simultaneously encouraging readers to borrow, adapt, and change the ideas for their own classrooms. Whether teaching one of the genres profiled here or applying principles to a different unit of study, this book offers clear, research-based, pedagogically sound models that will be appreciated by teachers incorporating genre studies into their reading and writing workshops.


Author Bio

Heather Lattimer received her master's degree from Stanford University and her EdD from the University of California, San Diego. She spent twelve years teaching English, history, and math in middle and high school and five years as an instructional coach and consultant. She is currently a consultant for NCTE's Professional Development Network and assistant professor at the University of San Diego, School of Leadership and Education Sciences.

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