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#34 - Studying Genre & A Conversation with Danielle Davis: Today I’m talking about studying genre and then I welcome author Danielle Davis to the show to chat about her debut middle grade novel Zinnia and the Bees, and finish up with a question about book recommendations for an advanced 6th grade reader.

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Intro Hi and welcome to Books Between - a podcast for teachers, parents, librarians, and anyone who wants to connect kids between 8-12 to books they’ll love. I’m your host, Corrina Allen - a mom an 8 and 10 year old, and just finishing my first week back to school with my new 5th graders. And….YAWN!  Is there any tured that’s like that first few days of school tired?  I am gonna get some coffee and I’ll be right back…. This is Episode #34 and today I’m talking about studying genre and then I welcome author Danielle Davis to the show to chat about her debut middle grade novel Zinnia and the Bees, and finish up with a question about book recommendations for an advanced 6th grade reader. But before we jump into the show, I want tell you that this month’s episodes are sponsored by WriteAbout.com - a writing community and publishing platform that is just perfect for classrooms. It is incredibly easy to use and set up - and boy am I appreciating that at the beginning of the year!  I am also loving how engaged students are when they see their word count grow. And how that pushes them to write even more. And from my end, I love how I can analyze those word count statistics either as a whole class or filter for individual students.  So, if you’ve been searching for an engaging and authentic way to help your students write every day, definitely go visit WriteAbout.com to check it out. And at the end of the show, I’ll share with you my current favorite feature. Main Topic - Studying Genre As I start our new school year rolling and we are setting up our reading journals and discussing goals, one of the first things we do is have a quick crash course in identifying genres. So today I want to chat with you about why it’s a good idea for students to study genre, which genres to study, the difference between genre and format, and finally I’ll share some ideas and resources to get your students learning more about different genres. Why study genre? So, why study genre? We’ve already got a lot on our plate and a curriculum that is jam packed. Why is it important for students to know the difference between science fiction and fantasy? Or to know a mystery when they see one? Studying genre helps students expand their reading habits and get introduced to genres they might not have tried yet. Studying genre also expands students’ views of each genre and helps them realize that NOT all books in a genre are the same. Not all fantasy is about dragons or set in a medieval world. Some have cats like The Warriors series and some are even set in modern times!  And often, books are a blend of more than one genre - Historical Fiction AND Action-Adventure like the I Survived Series. Or Science Fiction with a twist of Mystery like Space Case. Studying genre helps with comprehension. Knowing how a certain type of book tends to go helps you figure out the plot, make predictions, and pick out themes and delve into character more deeply. For example, if you are reading a Fantasy you’re going to be on the lookout for a quest narrative, special magical objects, maybe a good character who turns out to be bad, and a theme that might be really about Good vs. Evil. If they are picking up a mystery, they’ll want to be searching for clues and twist endings. If reading historical fiction they might be looking for lessons that would resonate today. Studying past turning points helps us figure out who we are. Knowing those common tropes and knowing why those genres are important helps students dig so much deeper and can even change them as a person. And finally, learning about genre helps kids develop their own reading identity and figure out what they really like. Learning the language and vocabulary of genre is important so they have a name for the kinds of stories they want to read and can then go ask for it at a bookstore or the library or when they search online. So if they know that they like Magical Realism, they can ask the clerk to help them find more of those ki

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