Lessons & Units

Genre 4th Grade Unit


Lesson 1 Historical Fiction Identify and describe evidence in a text, showing that it is historical fiction.
Lesson 2 Biography Identify and describe evidence in a text, showing that it is a biography.
Lesson 3 Strategies for Identifying Genres Identify and describe strategies that can be used to determine the genre of a book.

Unit Extension Ideas

  • If students have access to the Internet, you can teach them how to access biographical information from kid-friendly websites about famous people in history.
  • Discuss the genre of books in read aloud sessions and literature groups- particularly historical fiction and biography.  Have students explain the strategy they use to determine the genre.
  • Have students sort books in the classroom library based on genre, making the strategy used to identify the genre explicit.
  • Challenge students to write two versions of an event in two different genres: for example, an event from a famous person’s history (biography) and a fictional event from history (historical fiction). Ask students to explain the differences between the two versions.
  • Students can write a biography of a classmate or relative. First have them generate a list of questions to ask the classmate. Then have the writer interview the person using the list of questions. Students should use the answers to their questions to write the biography.
  • Students can write a biography of someone they have studied in social studies or science.
  • After reading a biography, have students research the time period in which the person lived and write about that time.
  • Students can identify the genre of current movies in the theater, or watch part of a movie in class and identify the specific genre.
  • After reading or writing a biography, students can dress up as the person. They can also dress up as a person who lived in a specific time period after reading a historical fiction book. Have the student present a report about the person or time period, in costume.