Unit 3: Genre Determination

For Unit 3, students have the option to do a genre presentation of their work and an explanation of it in a short essay.

If that is overwhelming to you, please feel free to write a 7 paragraph persuasive essay.

The first and last paragraphs should be your introduction and conclusion.

Good Trouble: From the Classroom to the Community (Project length will vary; plus 250 word artist’s statement)  

Unit 2 asked you to research a topic about which you are passionate. In your project conclusion, you reflected on the important things you learned, and what people should know about this topic. In the next step, Unit 3, you will bring your thoughts out of the classroom and into the community, in the genre you determine is most appropriate. How will you entreat people to engage with your work? Will they read a photo essay, listen to a political speech or podcast, watch a video essay, read a magazine article or newspaper editorial? The genre choice is yours, as long as it is appropriate to communicating your message effectively and considers how to best reach your target audience.

Once you’ve written your new genre text, you’ll also write a 1-paragraph reflection.

Your reflection should address the following:

  • How or why you became interested in the topic
  • The purpose of your piece
  • Why you decided to write in the genre you did,  for this particular audience
  • How it went (the extent to which you feel it was successful and why)
  • Where you think this might be published or shared beyond our class

Evaluation Criteria

  1. Genre: Whatever you choose must actually fit in that genre. A video that’s just a single picture for two minutes isn’t a video because it doesn’t move; it doesn’t engage us the way a video/film should. When you write your proposal, you’ll have a chance to set up what the rules and conventions are for that genre.
  2. Appropriateness for audience: If you’re doing something for 4th grade students, it shouldn’t be full of graduate school words. Appropriate means word choice, approach to topic/issue, use of visuals if you use them – does the way you “wrote” your genre piece fit what would work best for this audience?
  3. Effectiveness of message: We’ll share these in class so you’ll get a chance to see if you got your point across. Did it fulfill your purpose?
  4. Length/Timeliness: The genre piece can be whatever length it needs to be based on the conventions of the genre.
  5. Reflection: Did you thoughtfully reflect on your process, even if things didn’t turn out quite how you wanted?
  6. Clarity: sentence structure, grammar, and punctuation

Helpful resources for composing in various genres: 

The NYT has an entire list of “Mentor Texts” that help you write articles like a sports article and a personal health column. It’s quite useful.  It can be found here: https://www.nytimes.com/column/learning-mentor-texts

The New York Times on creating a Podcast:


More resources for creating texts:

Free music: https://www.purple-planet.com/

Free sound effects: http://soundbible.com/free-sound-effects-1.html

Copyright safe images (photos, clip art, etc): https://search.creativecommons.org/

Stock videos (and photos): https://www.pexels.com

Illustrations you can manipulate: https://undraw.co/illustrations

https://www.canva.com/ is a mostly free (especially if you upload your own images) design program that does everything from posters and banners to storyboards and comic strips. A real go-to tool for a lot of people.

Posters, infographics, etc.:

Online comic maker: https://www.makebeliefscomix.com/

Audio creator/editor:  https://www.audacityteam.org/ [easy to use with a full range of tools, lots of videos about how to use it]

Screencasting/video recording:

  •  https://screencast-o-matic.com/ Screencast-o-matic is free if you want to do screen capture videos from your laptop (note: 15 minute max time).
  • YouTube Studio will give you lots of tutorials about how to create videos