Literary Genres Lesson Plan

Instructor: Sharon Linde

Sharon has an Masters of Science in Mathematics and a Masters in Education

This video-based lesson plan teaches your students what a genre is as well as the types and characteristics of differing literary genres. Students apply knowledge in centers and with a fun game.

Learning Objectives

After this lesson, students will be able to:

  • define the term 'genre'
  • explain and discuss the different types of literary genres
  • list characteristics of specific literary genres


1 hour


  • Names of genres and examples of each, written individually on index cards
  • Strips of construction paper
  • Scissors
  • Glue or tape
  • Samples of text for each literary genre, set up in stations for students to rotate through
  • Chart paper displayed at each station
  • Markers
  • Copies of the printable quiz, one for each student

Key Vocabulary

  • Genre
  • Poetry
  • Epic poetry
  • Fiction
  • Nonfiction
  • Dialogue
  • Drama
  • Sub-genre

Curriculum Standards

  • CCSS.ELA-Literacy.RL.6.9

Compare and contrast texts in different forms or genres (e.g., stories and poems; historical novels and fantasy stories) in terms of their approaches to similar themes and topics.

  • CCSS.ELA-Literacy.W.6.9

Draw evidence from literary or informational texts to support analysis, reflection, and research.

  • CCSS.ELA-Literacy.W.6.9.a

Apply grade 6 Reading standards to literature (e.g., Compare and contrast texts in different forms or genres in terms of their approaches to similar themes and topics).


  • Before the lesson, set up stations for each literary genre that include text samples, chart paper hung on the wall or on a desk, and markers.
  • Start the lesson by dividing students into small groups and distributing copies of one sample of each genre. For example, each group should have one sample of poetry, nonfiction, drama, fiction, and so on. Have students look through the text and determine similarities and differences.
  • Share answers as a class.
  • Tell students they will be learning about different literary genres. Preview vocabulary words, then start the lesson Literary Genres: Definition, Types, Characteristics & Examples.
  • Pause at 1:06 and ask:
    • What does the word 'genre' mean?
    • How are genres determined?
    • Why is it important to be aware of different literary genres?
  • Restart the lesson, pausing after each section to review types and characteristics and allow students to take notes, if desired.
  • Now have the student groups visit each station, looking through books in each area. Instruct students to determine one characteristic of each genre to write on the chart paper before moving onto the next station. Give students 5-7 minutes at each section.
  • Play the Lesson Summary and check for understanding by having students take the printable quiz.

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