Using Graphic Organizers to Generate Genre Definitions

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					Name: Michelle Foltz

State: Ohio

Grade Level: 3

Subject: Language Arts

Content Standard: Reading Applications: Literary Text

4. Identify and explain the defining characteristics of literary forms and
genres, including fairy tales, folk tales, poetry, fiction and non-fiction.


The following lesson plan is an adaptation of a lesson plan written by Gary Hopkins
found at Education World. The title, objectives, and lesson plans have been modified to
fit the needs of my standard. The worksheet and online story resources were exactly
taken from his lesson plan.

The second is an exact lesson plan used by Gary Hopkins with the addition of the story I
would use as an example with the students before they begin one on their own.

Identify Characteristics of Literary Forms
For Fables, Fairy Tales, Folktales, Legends, Myths,
and/or Tall Tales
          Subjects
          Language Arts
          Educational Technology


Brief Description
Students use a list of questions to identify story elements in fairy tales, folktales,
legends, and tall tales.

Students will
        listen to or read a variety of stories.
        work individually or in groups to identify and explain the defining
         characteristics of literary forms.


literature, genre, story, stories, fairy tale, folktale, legend, tall tale, define, character

Materials Needed

        a variety of literature/stories by type/genre; literature might be found in the
         library, in textbooks, or online (online resources are provided)
        Hans Christian Andersen: Fairy Tales and Stories
        American Folklore: Legends
        Myths and Legends

Lesson Plan
In this lesson, students -- working as a class, will use samples of different story
types/genres to define the story elements. The activity can be adapted to include
any or all of the following literary genres:

        fable
        fairy tale
        folktale
        legend
        myth
        tall tale

    Share sample stories for each of the following genres.

    The stories I have chosen are:

    Day 1 ... FAIRY TALES - “The Princess and the Pea” & The Emperors
    New Suit”

    Day 2... LEGENDS - “John Henry” & Johnny Appleseed”

    Day 3... TALL TALES – “Paul Bunyan” & “Pecos Bill”

    Ask students to think about the elements of each story as they listen or
    read. Provide the following questions to guide students to some of the
    elements to look for:

Sample worksheet
Compare & Contrast                                          Name:____________________

                    Answer the following questions with a short response.

Does the story tell about something real?

Could the story's events be real, or are they totally unbelievable (fiction)?

Are the characters human or animal?

If the characters are human, could they have been real people?

Are characters doing things that are typically human or are they doing things that are

Does the character face a problem that must be solved?

Does the story teach a lesson?

Can you tell when and where the story takes place, or could it be taking place at any time and

Does the story take place long ago?

Are the people in the story ordinary/common people, or are they royalty?

Is there any mention of God or gods in the story?
Online Story Resources

       Aesop's Fables: Online Collection
       Hans Christian Andersen: Fairy Tales and Stories
       Grimm Fairy Tales
       Absolutely Whootie: Stories to Grow By -- Fairy Tales
       Absolutely Whootie: Stories to Grow By -- Folk Tales
       Tales of Wonder (Folk Tales and Fairy Tales)
       Absolutely Whootie: Stories to Grow By -- Legends
       American Folklore: Legends
       Legends
       The Big Myth
       Myths and Legends
       Tall Tales
       American Folklore: Tall Tales

Day 4... As a whole class, the students and I will discuss the answers to the worksheet. We will
define the differences between the genres.

Finally, I will choose a story to read to the class. After having heard the story, the students will
classify the story as either: a legend, folktale, or fairy tale.

Up-to-Date Aesop
       Arts & Humanities
        Language Arts, Literature, Visual
       Educational Technology
       Social Sciences

K-2, 3-5, 6-8, 9-12, Advanced

Brief Description                                                     Return to Once Upon a Time
Students read the original Aesop fables and then rewrite a fable using modern language in a
modern setting.

Students will
       work as a class to translate one of Aesop's fables into a modern setting and modern
       work individually or in small groups to translate another of Aesop's traditional fables into a
        modern setting and modern language.
       illustrate a fable using art supplies or illustration software.

fable, PowerPoint, illustrate, Aesop

Materials Needed

       access to the Aesop's fables Web site (or printouts of fables from the site)
       art supplies or illustration software
       additional technology (optional)

Lesson Plan
Students at the University of Massachusetts took fables from Aesop's Fables Online Collection
and reworked them for a modern audience, creating a Web site -- Aesop's Fables -- that offers
both versions of the fables. (Note: You will need Flash 4 Player to view these Web pages.)

This simple idea can be used to create an engaging classroom activity in which students work
individually or in small groups to rewrite a fable.

(Addition) Read the following fable together with the class.

                             The Fox and the Grapes

                         One afternoon a fox was walking through
the forest and spotted a bunch of grapes
hanging from over a lofty branch.

"Just the thing to quench my thirst," quoth

 Taking a few steps back, the fox jumped
and just missed the hanging grapes. Again
the fox took a few paces back and tried to
        reach them but still failed.

Finally, giving up, the fox turned up his
nose and said, "They're probably sour
anyway," and proceeded to walk away.
                        It's easy to despise what you cannot have.

As a group, create a modern fable based upon “The Fox and the Grapes”.

Extension activities:

      Students can use art supplies or computer software to create illustrations for the new
       versions of Aesop's fables and/or use PowerPoint to present the revised fable to the
       entire class. You might build a Web page similar to the one students at the University of
       Massachusetts created.
      The Fluency Through Fables Web page offers interactive activities using Aesop's fables
       to teach and/or practice vocabulary and comprehension skills.

Students critique the work of their peers. Each student will be responsible for providing one
positive comment about each presentation as well as one suggestion about how the presentation
might be improved.

Lesson Plan Source
Education World

Submitted By
Gary Hopkins

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