I have a couple ideas for low-stakes assignments for the Genre Awareness unit in 1101.
First, I’ve found that students most readily know genre as a term related to music/film, and therefore I think it would be useful to start there.
1. In class, play a short clip from a recent horror/thriller film (Midsommar/Us).
Discuss w/ class: What makes this a horror film? Are there any things that, if you took them away, would change the genre?
Writing Prompt: Imagine being asked to rewrite this as a romantic comedy. What would change? What would you have to add to make it romantic and funny?
2. Play clip from Seinfeld’s “The Subway” where riders strain to hear an indecipherable announcement.
Class Discussion: What are the conventions of a subway announcement?
Writing: What other ways can you find that information? What are the strengths and weaknesses of these other different genres/modes? What is unique about subway announcements versus all other genres/modes?
Concepts to tie in (for both): How do considerations of audience/purpose/constraints/genre conventions impact the content and form and mode of the text? Can we write out a procedure for identifying the conventions of a genre given some exemplar?