Sunday, November 25, 2012

Entry #11

As you reflect on all of the genres we have explored this semester, what have you learned about thus far about the specific features of texts (i.e., the specific features of the genres)? Which genres did you think you knew well at the start of this class, but you now have developed a deeper, more principled understanding of? Which genres did you not know much about, but now you do? Which, if any, still intimidate you as a reader and a writer and why?

Over the course of this semester, I have learned so much about the different forms of genres and how each type can be valuable in the classroom. I can't believe the semester is coming to an end! We've already discussed the persuasive genre, the expository, poetry, narrative, biographical, letter-writing, and descriptive genre. I have come to realize that all of these genres share many similar features, even though the purpose and format for each may vary widely. For example, every genre can successfully engage students in the writing process if implemented correctly, and every genre can be used in a fun and creative way. Also, I have learned that the characteristics of each specific genre should be explicitly taught to students, and that graphic organizers are incredibly helpful for students who may struggle with writing to overcome their fears and be successful.

At the start of this class, I thought that I had a solid understanding of the poetry genre. I wasn't really a fan of poetry because I was intimidated by it and found it utterly boring, but I still felt like I had a fairly decent knowledge of the genre. After reading Tompkins (2012) and researching this genre for my group's Expert Share presentation, I have realized that there are so many more different types and forms of poetry than I had imagined. Before this class, I wasn't aware that poetry was broken up into different types (within the genre) and then broken down further into different formats/formulas within those different types. For example, the "I Am" poem is a specific type of formula poem and has its own "rules" and structure that differ from the other types of formula poems. I feel that, now I have a better understanding of the different types of poems as well as all of the different categories within the genre of poetry.

One genre that I didn't really know too much about was the expository genre. I wasn't quite sure what the term 'expository' encompassed -- I always thought it was just newspaper articles and textbook writing. However, after the expository genre presentation, I now understand that the expository genre encompasses so much more and can be used for science books, real-life stories, learning about fun topics, and magazine articles. I absolutely loved the graphic organizer that the group gave out and had us use with the tradebooks that we brought in. Also, the cause/effect graphic organizer would be really useful in the classroom when dealing with expository texts.

One genre that I still don't feel very knowledgeable about is the descriptive genre. It still confuses me somewhat because I feel as if descriptive writing is seen in every single genre, and should be included in every piece of writing (one characteristic of good writing is that it's highly descriptive). That's why I'm still not quite sure how or why it would be considered one specific genre, because I think this quality is seen throughout every genre.

1 comment:

  1. Don't be confused Ashley, you've got it right. Description is an element of all good writing -- no matter what the genre. However, when planning to teach students to write descriptively, it helps to design a unit that focuses specifically on the various elements of description.