Introducing year 8 to genre…

In my last blog post, I explained how I used a series of ‘station’ activities to introduce my year 10 students to poetry. This week, I used a similar approach to introduce my year 8 students to genre. I only teach the class one period a fortnight – I share the class with their main teacher. As this was our first lesson together, I figured a hands-on, face-paced and fun lesson would be best. I had the students work on a range of genre-related activities for 5 minutes, then move to the next station. This time, I used an online timer on the projector, so the students could see when to move to the next activity. It was heaps of fun, and the class told me that they’d learnt new things about genre, and had done some creative thinking. Yay! Below is a quick overview of the activities students did:

Comic-making:

I gave students a pile of blank comic strips (I used this one) and they had 5 minutes to create an ‘action’ comic.

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Two-sentence horror story:

Students read through a bunch of two sentence horror stories – you can read some here. They then had to write their own two-sentence horror story and then post it to the whiteboard using Blu-Tak.

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Six-word love story:

I gave students a bunch of pink paper strips. On the strip, they had to write a 6 word love story. Completed stories were posted to the whiteboard using Blu-Tak.

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Genre mix-and-match:

I printed off a list of 15 genres, and a list of the genre conventions for 10 of them. I cut them up, and mixed them up on the table. Students then had to match the genre with the appropriate conventions. Once the students had matched them all up, they had to choose three genres and list as many texts they knew of that genre.

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Genre film match:

Students had to match a film to its genre – I used the same genre lists as with the previous activities, but made sure there was a film picture for each one. Once students had successfully matched them, they had to pick one film and explain to their team why it fits the genre they chose.

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Puppet-Pals 2:

Students were given the task of creating a fairytale using the Puppet-Pals 2 app on my iPad. This was the activity that the students were the least successful with – probably because it takes longer than 5 minutes to create a finished video, but also because it’s so fun to play around with!

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