Blog Entry #11 - Learning through the Genres
I have learned so many things throughout the semester in regard to the genres which have been presented and explored. I would have considered myself to be very knowledgeable about the genres due to my educational background and English as my content specialty, but it never ceases to amaze me that I am always learning new information and I will forever be learning in this field!
Some specific features of the genres that were new to me or that I didn't fully understand or appreciate were the correlation between persuasive writing techniques and letter writing (as well as most other genres). For both of these genres, understanding what your purpose is for writing was essential as well as knowing your audience. Persuasive writing is a difficult genre to teach younger students due to the need to be able to think about your audience's needs and possible opinions. I love the idea of using conversation to introduce, model, and help develop students understanding of "the other side" of the argument.
With the addition of adding more digital writing tools and opportunities, as teachers we need to be aware and prepared for the potential problems that some of our students, myself, and other faculty members may have. As teachers we need to be active in continuing our education and collaboration so that we may better serve our students. With stress being placed on better preparing our students for college and careers, more emphasis needs to be placed on writing throughout the curriculum and using digital writing is even more imperative.
Understanding audience and purpose were ideas which repeated throughout all of the genres as being an integral part of becoming a successful writer. Many of the genre presentations included graphic organizers to aid the student with identifying the purpose and details for their writing. There were also graphic organizers that organized what the students had read which could work as great tools for modeling and practice prior to writing in the genre.
I absolutely love poetry, but I do not claim to know everything about it. I know that there are many students I have had in the past that shy away from poetry because they don't understand it or it seems intimidating. The Bio-Poem that was presented by the Poetry Genre Group was a great example of how I could take non-fiction and historical fiction and make it more interesting lesson and project than simply writing a book report or essay about a person, place, or time. And for students that are intimidated by poetry, this gives them an organizer that creates a formula for them to follow. I always want my students to feel successful and I truly think formula poems can be great tools and the bio-poem shows that it can relate to non-fiction and multiple subject areas.
The descriptive genre was initially confusing to me as I had never heard of this being a genre in and of itself before in all of my time studying! After the group presented it made more sense to me as there really were specific techniques that are utilized while engaged in this writing style. Dialogue, figurative language, word choice, and sensory imagery were all techniques that I had thought of as being separate from each other and not necessarily connected. The descriptive genre does just that though...it connects them. This was by far my favorite presentation because of the impact that they all have on every other piece of writing we perform regardless of who or what it is for. It is the pivotal point of communication. They are all connected through the idea that there is a need to know your purpose, audience, direction, organization, and ultimately understanding. It just seems like description is in everywhere ( including our own speech) and narratives and biographies are such wonderful tools in and of themselves for harvesting information from outside curriculum areas.
Finally, in regard to the actual texts that I explored for each genre, I found that many of the texts that I pulled for one genre could very well be used for another genre (hence the multi genre texts).