Multigenre Fiction Assignment Sheet Sample

Multigenre: An Introduction

by Lisa Langstraat

"A multigenre paper arises from research, experience, and imagination. It is not an uninterrupted, expository monolog nor a seamless narrative nor a collection of poems. A multigenre paper is composed of many genres and subgenres, each piece self-contained, making a point of its own, yet connected by theme or topic and sometimes by language, images, and content. In addition to many genres, a multigenre paper may also contain many voices, not just the author's. The trick is to make such a paper hang together."
~~ (Romano, Blending Genre, Altering Style i-xi)

Multigenre writing projects respond to contemporary conceptions of genre, audience, voice, arrangement and style by enabling students to tap into their knowledge about new media literacies, rich rhetorical situations, and the multiple perspectives that are inherent in any writing activity.

In short, multigenre projects entail a series of generic documents that are linked by a central premise, theme, or goal. They may forward an argument, trace a history, or offer multiple interpretations of a text or event. They are rigorous forms of writing, involving all of the elements of a traditional research paper: research and citation, coherence and organization, purpose and aim of discourse, audience awareness, and conventional appropriateness. Thus, while multigenre projects certainly teach students valuable, transferable strategies and expectations for writing, they go further. As Nancy Mack explains, multigenre writing:

  • Presents multiple, even conflicting perspectives of one event or topic.
  • Provides a rich context for an event or topic.
  • Demonstrates sophisticated understanding of audience needs and interests.
  • Permits meaning to dictate form, rather than vice versa.
  • Demonstrates a sophisticated knowledge of various genres and uses of language.
  • Integrates factual information into a meaningful text, verses copying or simply recall.
  • Permits the author to highlight personal interests and special expertise.
  • Stimulates critical analysis and higher-level thinking skills.
  • Makes coherence and unity a genuine rhetorical problem to be solved.
  • Requires research skills and knowledge of source documentation.
  • Can make full use of new media literacies.
  • Is almost impossible to plagiarize.
  • Results in an interesting, engaging product.
  • Demands careful reading and response.

Multigenre writing is thus informed by a multitude of rhetorical considerations including a complex understanding of genre theory. Teachers who engage in multigenre assignments must be prepared to sequence assignments/project pieces carefully, to engage in new kinds of response and evaluation strategies, and to learn to trust their students’ abilities and creativity. The results of this preparation, engagement, and trust are consistently surprising, heartening, and rhetorically sophisticated.

Additional materials:

For additional information, see the following links:

Multigenre Projects Main Page  ¦  Introduction to Multigenre ¦ Multigenre Projects Table of Contents  ¦  Return to Writing Gallery

These days, when students read and write, often it is not only in one genre. Instead, the types and kinds of reading and writing intertwine and blend together. Their work becomes multigenre. In Blending Genre, Altering Style (Heinemann, 2000), Tom Romano describes how multigenre texts work: "Multigenre allows us to "meld fact, interpretation, and imagination,' into a series of self-contained pieces called crots that appear in forms that include poetry, prose, drama, and exposition" (109). This interactive invites students to create original multigenre, multimodal works-one drawing and three written texts. The tool asks students to name the genres for each section, making the tool flexible for multiple writing activities. The Multigenre Mapper Planning Sheet, a printable PDF, allows writers to draft and revise their work before going online to use the interactive.

Grades   3 – 5  |  Lesson Plan  |  Standard Lesson

Playing with Prepositions through Poetry

Students play with and explore prepositions during a whole group reading of Ruth Heller's Behind the Mask, and then by composing and publishing prepositional poems based on the book's style.

 

Grades   3 – 5  |  Lesson Plan  |  Standard Lesson

Using Snowflake Bentley as a Framing Text for Multigenre Writing

Using Snowflake Bentley as a model, students create a working definition of multigenre text and then use that definition to create their own multigenre piece about winter or another theme.

 

Grades   3 – 5  |  Lesson Plan  |  Standard Lesson

What If We Changed the Book? Problem-Posing with Sixteen Cows

After reading a piece of math-related children's literature aloud, students pose and solve new problems by asking what-if questions about the events in the story.

 

Grades   3 – 5  |  Lesson Plan  |  Standard Lesson

Bridging Literature and Mathematics by Visualizing Mathematical Concepts

During interactive read-aloud sessions, students identify how an author conveys mathematical information about animals' sizes and abilities. They then conduct research projects focusing on the same mathematical concepts.

 

Grades   3 – 5  |  Lesson Plan  |  Unit

Literature as a Jumping Off Point for Nonfiction Inquiry

Students use text sets to research a topic inspired by a fiction book they have read. A text set is a collection of multiple text genres with a single focus.

 

Grades   3 – 6  |  Lesson Plan  |  Standard Lesson

Opening the Door for Reading: Sharing Favorite Texts to Build Community

In this lesson, students build classroom community by exploring environmental print and a teacher-created display that focuses on a favorite book. They then create and share their own presentations.

 

Grades   3 – 5  |  Lesson Plan  |  Standard Lesson

Our Classroom: Writing an Owner's Manual

Students write an owner's manual that helps them get to know their classroom, provides them with a sense of ownership, and lets others know about their classroom.

 

Grades   3 – 5  |  Lesson Plan  |  Standard Lesson

Engaging Students in a Collaborative Exploration of the Gettysburg Address

In small groups, students closely examine one sentence from the Gettysburg Address and create a multigenre project communicating what they have discovered about the meaning and significance of the text.

 

Grades   3 – 5  |  Lesson Plan  |  Unit

Zines for Kids: Multigenre Texts About Media Icons

Special edition! Students use ReadWriteThink tools to create magazines about prominent figures using a variety of writing genres and styles.

 

Grades   3 – 5  |  Lesson Plan  |  Standard Lesson

Reading, Writing, Haiku Hiking! A Class Book of Picturesque Poems

Students learn haiku
write descriptive poems
and share with the class.

 

Grades   6 – 8  |  Lesson Plan  |  Standard Lesson

Polishing Preposition Skills through Poetry and Publication

Students deepen and refine their understanding of prepositions by reading Ruth Heller's Behind the Mask. They write preposition poetry and create a study guide using an online tool.

 

Grades   6 – 8  |  Lesson Plan  |  Standard Lesson

Building Vocabulary: Making Multigenre Glossaries Based on Student Inquiry

Students choose unfamiliar words from their reading and create a multigenre, multimodal glossary of terms.

 

Grades   6 – 8  |  Lesson Plan  |  Standard Lesson

Blurring Genre: Exploring Fiction and Nonfiction with Diary of a Worm

After reading several examples of how a published author incorporates facts in fiction writing, students research a topic of their choice and write fictional diary entries that incorporate factual information.

 

Grades   6 – 12  |  Lesson Plan  |  Recurring Lesson

Active Reading through Self-Assessment: The Student-Made Quiz

This recurring lesson encourages students to comprehend their reading through inquiry and collaboration. They choose important quotations from the text and work in groups to formulate "quiz" questions that their peers will answer.

 

Grades   9 – 12  |  Calendar Activity  |  December 2

David Macaulay was born in 1946.

Students use the Multigenre Mapper interactive to explore Macaulay's use of multiple genres by composing original multigenre texts.

 

Grades   5 – 12  |  Calendar Activity  |  December 23

Avi was born in 1937.

After reading Nothing But the Truth, students explore a current event topic and write their own short work of fiction in a similar multigenre format.

 

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