How to Teach Literary Genres with a Library Scavenger Hunt

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First I should confess that in the hustle and bustle of getting school started I did not read all the details in the teacher book for WriteShop Junior Book E. About half-way through the year I stumbled upon a section in the teacher book that recommend teaching literary genres to your student. I realized that would be beneficial for my son.

How to Teach Literary Genres with a Library Scavenger Hunt

We had a free afternoon coming up, and I wanted to change our reviewing routine. So I created a notebooking page with the literary genres from WriteShop Junior Book E. My main goal was to expose him to different books from the literary genres from his writing lessons.

I explained how I wanted him to find a book in the library that represented the literary genres we had studied this year in WriteShop.

I gave him the notebook page Genre Scavenger Hunt and had him define the word genre. I read him the list of literature genres and asked him which one was his favorite, which one had he never heard before, and were there any he thought sounded interesting.

Since we happened to be sitting next to the poetry section in the library, my son thought that would be a great place to start finding his book selections.

Decision making has been a challenge for my son, so selecting a starting point in the library was an added bonus for this genre challenge.

He selected a volume of poetry titled Carver: A Life in Poems. The poem he selected to read happened to remind me of a song. So I took a moment to discuss genres in music, using the song Aint’ Nobody Here But Us Chickens. It provided proof to him that his mom was a tad crazy, but it was worth the giggles.

literary genre poetry

Finding books on the other genres required extra leg work, so we Googled book lists for adventure, mystery, science fiction, and humor.

I would have him select a title that sounded interesting, and then he would head to the computer to see if he could find where the book was located on the library shelves. Fortunately our local library carries most books, so it wasn’t difficult finding them.

You might want to do some pre-planning for books your library has on the different genres. If there is a series in a particular genre you want to introduce to your student, this genre library activity would be a great time to introduce the first book. 

Once we had a pile of books, I had him read different selections from each or the book synopsis if it had one. We were looking for clues that pointed to the genre the book had been categorized in. We did get sidetracked a few times by

literary genre notebook page

Ending our review, I asked if there were any books on the table he would be interested in reading. After some thought, he chose The Hardy Boys. He had seen the series many times but had never taken the time to read them. I encouraged him try the first book.

A week later when he was checking out the second and third book in The Hardy Boys series, he had a huge smile on his face. It was his way of saying, “Sometimes my mom is right.”

Now we are gearing up for writing a 5 paragraph report in WriteShop book E lesson 10. This is a big transition for my son, and I hope the party I have promised him for completing the book will provide the motivation to finish strong.

The library scavenger hunt I planned is an activity you can incorporate into many different times of your homeschool year. Here are a few examples:

  • beginning a WriteShop book
  • completing a WriteShop book
  • after a long school break
  • when you need a change from the routine
  • when you need a break from writing lessons

If you need more ideas for writing, WriteShop has this freebie that includes 192 cards with the basic elements of a story—character, character trait, setting, and plot—all with an exciting adventure theme. 

Click the photo to sign-up!
Adventure Builder StoryBuilders

This post may contain AFFILIATE LINKS. Clicking through these links help to support the costs involved in running this blog and sometimes can help with other expenses. You can find my full disclosure under the DISCLOSURE TAB. Thanks!

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