Wednesday, February 29, 2012

Genre of the Month

When I became a MS, I decided I was going to do whatever I could to get students excited about reading and to read different types of materials so that they can become well-rounded. So in keeping with that goal, I started the Genre of the Month program where I teach a different genre of literature in the Media Center in the hopes of getting students excited about reading.

The GOTM is highlighted on a special bulletin board, and I do a lesson once a month to make sure the students understand the genre.

I also put up signs about the GOTM on top of the shelves and pull books from that genre to go next to the signs to make these books easy to find.  (If you're interested, you can get a free sample copy of these signs here or click on either of the pictures above.)

I put special signs on the computer about the GOTM to make it easy to look up a GOTM book and I put out GOTM bookmarks, cause you know these kids love them some bookmarks.  ;)

I have made 28 genre bookmarks that you can now purchase on Teacher's Dojo.  Click to HERE to go there now.

As an extra incentive to read a book from the Genre of the Month, I hide a "secret symbol" (examples seen in the picture above) in random books that fall into that genre.  When a student finds the "secret symbol"  they bring the symbol and the book to the Media Center. I quiz them on the book to be sure they have really read the book, and if they pass the short quiz, they get to pick a prize from my treasure chest.  The treasure chest is filled with items from Oriental Trading and toys from kids' meals, stuff the kids go crazy over.  If a student finds a secret symbol, I take their picture and put it on a bulletin board.  They are so proud to see their picture hanging up.

You can find the posters, bookmarks, and secret symbols all in this Genre Mega Pack in my Teacher's Dojo store for just $8.00.  Click HERE or on the picture above to check it out.

During "slow" weeks (is there really a such thing in the Media Center?), I will do a genre review game I call "Genredy."  The winners of the game get a roll of Smarties.

I also have made a fun hands-on activity called Genre Detectives that I used mid-way through the year to reveiw all the genres we had covered.  I used it with 2nd-5th grade classes and they really seemed to enjoy it.

This is how I set up the activity.  I put 8 books, one from each of these genres in the white bucket:
tall tale, fable, legend, science fiction, historical fiction, realistic fiction, mystery, and non-fiction.  Large craft sticks and genre labels are in the small bin.

The poster lists the 8 genres and their definitions.  Students work together to match the genre to its correct definitions using the craft sticks.

Next, students label each book with the correct genre label.

This is an example of how the book would be labeled.  The shapes on each book correspond to a genre which the students find out at the end of the lesson when they check their answers.

The Genre Detective packet is available on my TpT store and is included in the Leap Day sale.  It's normally $3.00, but you can get it during the sale for $2.40.  You can get it here.

I also have a second Genre Detective packet.  It is also $3.00.  You can get it here.

I recently came across a new blog, The Library Patch, started by another elementary librarian, Sonya. She is starting a similar program to the Genre of the Month in her library, but with fiction books.  She calls it the Roundup for Reading program.  You can find her post about the Roundup for Reading program here.  She even has some downloads about the program.  I am definitely going to keep this program in mind for next year, just to kind of mix things up.  I highly recommend stopping by and checking out her blog, The Library Patch.  Tell her Mrs. Nase sent ya!  =)

As for the GOTM program, I feel like it has done a great deal to get students to read different types of books, mostly because they want to find the "secret symbol," but hey, if it gets them reading, I'd stand on my head and juggle fire, if I knew how to do that, that is, 'cause that's just how I roll.


  1. This is fabulous! I'm definitely going to do this next year with my kiddos.

    1. Thanks! So glad you like the idea. It really has inspired some of the most relunctant readers to visit the Media Center more often. Hope you find it works well for you, too. =)

  2. Hey there! Surprise ... I nominated you for an award. Come on over to to check it out. There are some crazy rules for accepting it. And quite honestly, you won't hurt my feelings at all if you choose not to follow through by naming five other bloggers. I just thought that I would take this opportunity to showcase some fellow elementary school bloggers. Happy Sunday!

  3. I just gave you the Lovely Blog Award. Stop by my blog to pick up your prize.

  4. Cute idea, you've inspired me to start something similar soon. Thanks!

    1. So glad you like the idea. I'd love to hear how it works for your kiddos. =)

  5. Hi Jo,
    I went to the TPT web site and could not find your genre of the month section. Could you help.

    1. Hi Suzan,
      I have several genre products on TpT, but I think this might be what you're looking for. It has signs and secret symbols for 19 genres. If it's not, let me know and I will send you links to the other genre products. Click here to go to the Genre Mega Pack.

  6. I am wondering if the genredy game is available anywhere? I'd love to use it next year.


    1. Hi, Katie,
      I do not have that file available. It was on a thumb drive that has been lost. However, I made it from a template that I found online and added in my own questions and answers. If you Google "free Jeopardy PowerPoint template" you should be able to find something to fit your needs. =)