Making sense of the world and its complexities looms a difficult task for students in the ninth grade. This unit focuses on the understanding that one way to do so is to categorize information and ideas. The discipline-specific part of the unit will utilize the idea of genre as a category for organization, an essential understanding for the study of any text. The unit is done at the start of the year so that for the rest of the year, students have their ideas of genre to help them make sense of texts read. It would be preceded by an introduction to learning styles and multiple intelligences and followed by a unit on what effects an author can produce by following or breaking the rules and conventions of a genre. The students will explore examples of prose and poetry, fiction and non-fiction, as well as selected examples of each that they will study more in-depth later in the year. An understanding of genre will aid the students in understanding that different forms are used for different audiences and purposes and that knowing the genre of the text they are reading can help them make sense of it and inform their approach to it. In the performance task, the students demonstrate an understanding of the structures, audiences, and purposes of a magazine in the genre of their choice and a business letter. They will create a magazine that serves a particular audience using a particular genre of their choice. They may use a continuum of audiences that we will have established as a class to help guide them.
Dylla, Kristen, "Genre (And the category is...)" (2006). Understanding by Design: Complete Collection. Paper 11.
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