Children often have a favorite topic to write about. They return to the topic and use the same genre in sharing their information. For example, if a child loves his dog, he often will write a story, a narrative. This writing practice is a great start.
One way to broaden children’s understanding of genres is to present books on the same topic with different formats. You can compare and contrast different books on the same topic. Dinosaurs. Trucks. Bears. Show them how this information can be shared out through a narrative, informational text, poetic nonfiction, poetry, all about, etc.
Three books I found recently lend themselves to this kind of study.
- Big Bug by Henry Cole primarily focuses on putting size into perspective.
- Super Bugs by Michelle Meadows, illustrated by Bill Mayer, features a rhyming text, personifying the insects as heroes working together.
- Some Bugs by Angela Diterlizzi, illustrated by Brendan Wenzel, features the actions and camouflages of the insects in a narrative nonfiction text.
- National Geographic Everything Insects by Carrie Gleason features real photographs and a basic informational guide.
Savorings for Big Bug:
- Opposites – big versus little
- Comparison of size
- Circular/ Bookends – begins with a bug that looks small on a big leaf but is a small leaf to a big tree, and continues (begins with the topic of bugs but is only one part of the book versus the other books are all about bugs)
Savorings for Super Bugs:
- Setting – each two page spread illustrates a scene (you could write about each scene)
- Repeating Lines
- Author’s Note – writes about what fascinates her
Savorings for Some Bugs:
- Illustrations are a fascinating collage
- Repeating structure
- Vivid Verbs
- Personifies the bugs – communicating, playing
- Last 2 pages is a culmination of all the illustrated pages
- Invites the reader to action – explore their ordinary backyard
Savorings for National Geographic Everything Insects:
- Nonfiction text features
- Photographs in natural setting
- Scientific explanations
- Link to further research