Genre and Subgenre
Categories of Writing
Genre = Category
All writing falls into a category or genre.
We will use 5 main genres
and 15 subgenres.
Genres and Subgenres
Texts can be separated into groups
called genres and subgenres.
Text
Genre
Banana
is a
Food
Harry Potter
Book
is
Fiction
Subgenre
is a
Fruit
is
Fantasy
5 Main Genres
1.
2.
3.
4.
5.
Nonfiction: writing that is true
Fiction: imaginative or made up writing
Folklore: stories once passed down orally
Drama: a play or script
Poetry: writing concerned with the beauty
of language
5 Main Genres Practice
Stories once passed down orally
Folklore
Writing that is true
Nonfiction
A play or script
Drama
Writing concerned with the beauty Poetry
of language
Writing that is imaginative or made Fiction
up
Fiction
Realistic
Fiction
Drama
Poetry
Comedy
Tragedy
Historical
Fiction
Nonfiction Folklore
Informational
Writing
Persuasive
Writing
Haiku
Science
Fiction
Fantasy
Fairy Tale
Legend
Tall Tale
Biography
Limerick
Narrative
Myth
Autobiography
Fable
Nonfiction Subgenres
• Persuasive Writing: tries to influence the
reader
• Informational Writing: explains something
• Autobiography: life story written by oneself
• Biography: Writing about someone else’s life
Auto = Self
Latin Roots
Bio = Life
Graphy = Writing

Partner 1 tell your partner what type of
nonfiction subgenre this is.

Partner 2 tell your partner whether
you agree or disagree and why.
Jane Smith, a practicing physician, has
been a Civil War buff for decades. She
has published articles in Civil War Journal,
Civil War News, and Civil War Weekly and
is a member of the Civil War Society. She
lives in Rumford, Maine, with her husband,
three kids and two dogs.

Partner 2 tell your partner what type of
nonfiction subgenre this is.

Partner 1 tell your partner whether
you agree or disagree and why.
Though women have successfully proved
that they are not weak, war is one of those
occupations that women should never take
part in. Serving in the army today is solely a
masculine occupation, and it should remain
that way. Women in the army will decrease its
fighting efficiency, since training would need
to be made easier for the women.

Partner 1 tell your partner what type of
nonfiction subgenre this is.

Partner 2 tell your partner whether
you agree or disagree and why.
The most popular tourist attraction is the
capital city Rome, with its rich cultural
heritage. The Colosseum, the Pantheon, and
the Vatican are some of the most visited
sites in Rome. Venice is another city in Italy
that is famous for its beautiful canals and
gondolas.

Partner 2 tell your partner what type of
nonfiction subgenre this is.

Partner 1 tell your partner whether
you agree or disagree and why.
I began to wonder about how humans
function, after watching a documentary on
television when I was six years old. Ever since
I watched that documentary, I have been
fascinated with the human brain. I read
voraciously on the brain and its functions, all
through middle school and high school. My
award-winning science fair projects…
Nonfiction Subgenres
Nonfiction
Persuasive
Writing
Informational
Writing
Biography
Autobiography
Fiction Subgenres
• Historical Fiction: set in the past and
based on real people and/or events
• Science Fiction: has aliens, robots,
futuristic technology and/or space ships
• Realistic Fiction: has no elements of
fantasy; could be true but isn’t
• Fantasy: has monsters, magic, or
characters with superpowers

Partner 2 tell your partner what type of
nonfiction subgenre this is.

Partner 1 tell your partner whether
you agree or disagree and why.
Miz Rachel and her daughter, Lindy, are
enslaved on a Virginia plantation. Sally
provides comfort to Lindy as the girl toils in
the cotton fields and is whipped by the
overseer. One night, Miz Rachel and Lindy
escape, beginning the trip north to freedom
along the Underground Railroad. At one safe
house, Sally slips from Lindy's waist and …

Partner 1 tell your partner what type of
nonfiction subgenre this is.

Partner 2 tell your partner whether
you agree or disagree and why.
Ged spoke the shadow’s name and in the
same moment the shadow spoke without lips
or tongue, saying the same word: “Ged.” And
the two voices were one voice. Ged reached
out his hands, dropping his staff, and took
hold of his shadow, of the black self that
reached out to him. Light and darkness met,
and joined, and were one.

Partner 2 tell your partner what type of
nonfiction subgenre this is.

Partner 1 tell your partner whether
you agree or disagree and why.
Wanda Petronski, a Polish-American girl
from a poor family, is teased by classmates at
school for being different and for saying she
has one hundred dresses at home while she
is wearing the same faded dress to school
every day. Only after Wanda's absence from
school do Maddie and Peggy find out the true
story about the one hundred dresses…

Partner 1 tell your partner what type of
nonfiction subgenre this is.

Partner 2 tell your partner whether
you agree or disagree and why.
Paul Jameson’s ship is part of a fleet of 15
special exploration vessels – each heavily
armed and sent from Earth with identical twins
at the helm. The ships and their pilots are
slowly being destroyed under very mysterious
circumstances. In fact Paul’s brother recently
died while exploring a planet with strange but
docile cat-like aliens.
Fiction Subgenres
Fiction
Historical
Fiction
Fantasy
Science
Fiction
Realistic
Fiction
Folklore Subgenres
Folklore/Folktales usually has an
“unknown” author or will be “retold” or
“adapted” by the author.
• Fable: short story with personified
animals and a moral
Personified: given the traits of people
Moral: lesson or message of a fable
• Myth: has gods/goddesses and usually
accounts for the creation of something
Folklore Subgenres (continued)
•
•
•
•
•
•
Tall Tale
Set in the Wild West, the American frontier
Main characters skills/size/strength is
greatly exaggerated
Exaggeration is humorous
Legend
Based on a real person or place
Facts are stretched beyond nonfiction
Exaggerated in a serious way
Folklore Subgenres (continued)
Fairytale: has magic and/or talking animals.
•
•
•
•
Often starts with “Once upon a time…”
Like fantasy but much older
Often has a human main character
Fables also have talking animals, but fables
are VERY short
Fairytales & Fantasies
Both have monsters, magic, or talking animals.
What’s the difference?
• Fairytales are part of the oral tradition.
• Usually it will say “retold by” or “adapted by.”
• Fairytales often start “Once Upon a Time.”

Partner 1 tell your partner what type of
nonfiction subgenre this is.

Partner 2 tell your partner whether
you agree or disagree and why.
Once upon a time there was a fox that was
very hungry. Finally he went in a vineyard
where he saw a bunch of grapes hanging on
the vines. He jumped and jumped to fetch the
grapes but could not reach them. Finally he got
tired and he said to himself that grapes are
sour. The moral of this story is that when we
cannot get something we want, we pretend to
despise and belittle it.

Partner 2 tell your partner what type of
nonfiction subgenre this is.

Partner 1 tell your partner whether
you agree or disagree and why.
One day, mama pig called her three sons
and made them sit at the dining table. In a
serious and grave voice she informed them,
"My sons, you are now old enough to venture
out on your own in this world. I would like each
one of you to go and build your own house.
Make sure that the house is strong so that the
big bad wolf cannot enter and gobble you up."

Partner 1 tell your partner what type of
nonfiction subgenre this is.

Partner 2 tell your partner whether
you agree or disagree and why.
Davy, Davy Crockett the man who don’t know
fear.
He went off to Congress and served a spell
Fixin up the government and laws as well.
Took over Washington, I heard tell,
And patched up the crack in the Liberty Bell.

Partner 2 tell your partner what type of
nonfiction subgenre this is.

Partner 1 tell your partner whether
you agree or disagree and why.
Zeus was the king of all the gods. Zeus had
two brothers and three sisters. When their
father died, the boys - Zeus, Poseidon, and
Hades - divided the world up between
themselves. Zeus took all of the heavens,
Poseidon took the sea, and Hades took the
underworld. Each was quite content with their
selection.

Partner 1 tell your partner what type of
nonfiction subgenre this is.

Partner 2 tell your partner whether
you agree or disagree and why.
Now I hear tell that Paul Bunyan was born
in Bangor, Maine. It took five giant storks to
deliver Paul to his parents. His first bed was a
lumber wagon pulled by a team of horses. His
father had to drive the wagon up to the top of
Maine and back whenever he wanted to rock
the baby to sleep...
.
Folklore Subgenres
Folklore
Fable
Myth
Fairy Tale
Tall Tale
Legend
Poetry Subgenres
There are many subgenres of poetry but
we are only going to discuss three of
them.
• Haiku: a traditional Japanese poem, that
does not rhyme, has 17 syllables arranged
in 3 lines of 5, 7, and 5 syllables
• Limerick: a humorous poem that has 5
lines in which lines 1, 2, and 5 rhyme and
lines 3 and 4 have another rhyme
• Narrative: a poem that tells a story
What are Dramas?
Stories written in script form.
Example
Teacher: Everyone take notes.
Student A: I don’t have a pen.
Drama Subgenres
Comedy: has a happy ending.
Tragedy: ends in death and sadness.
Review
Nonfiction: persuasive writing, informational
writing, autobiography, and biography
Fiction: historical fiction, science fiction,
realistic fiction, and fantasy
Folklore: myth, legend, tall tale, fairy tale,
and fable
Poetry: haiku, limerick, narrative, and many
more
Drama: comedy and tragedy
Tips for Identifying
1. Find the main genre first
2. Look for details that reveal subgenre
Practice
We are going to focus on the fiction
nonfiction, and folklore genres.
1. Once you have your worksheet, write your
first and last name at the top.
2.I will describe a piece of writing.
3.You will write the genre and subgenre.
4. This is to help prepare you for a quiz.
1
“Dogs and Cats” by Bob Brady
A five paragraph essay where the
student Bob Brady compares and contrasts
dogs and cats. He provides a lot of
information about both.
Write the genre and subgenre on your paper.
2
Your Science Textbook
Your science textbook contains much of
the human knowledge of Earth and the
universe.
Write the genre and subgenre on your paper.
3
In My Own Words by Eva Perón
Eva Perón writes the story of her life
from childhood to her rise in political power
in Argentina.
Write the genre and subgenre on your paper.
4
They Came from the Sun by Tom Mitchell
The story of a race of aliens that come
to enslave the residents of Earth with their
advanced weaponry. Only one teacher
can stop them, but is it too late?
Write the genre and subgenre on your paper.
5
“The Ant & The Grasshopper” Adapted by
Chad Peplum
The really short story of an Ant who works
hard all summer to prepare for winter and a
Grasshopper who just plays. Winter comes
and the Grasshopper freezes to death. The
moral is “prepare today for tomorrow’s
needs.”
6
The Watsons Go to Birmingham by
Christopher Paul Curtis
It is the fictional story of an African
American family living in Flint, Michigan
who go to their grandmother's home in
Birmingham, Alabama in the year 1963.
The story is told around the 1963 16th
Street Baptist Church bombing in
Birmingham, an actual event in history.
7
“Sally Ann Thunder Ann Whirlwind” retold
by Tom Cranes
Sally Ann Thunder Ann Whirlwind was the
toughest girl in the wild West. Right when
she was born, she looked up and said,
"Hello! I'm Sally Ann Thunder Ann
Whirlwind! And I am amazing!" She once
made a lasso out of live rattlesnakes, and
then she caught a tornado with that lasso.
8
“Going, Going ... Green!” By Angela
Gaimari
In this essay, Gaimari tries to convince
people to do small things to help the
environment. She gives readers many
suggestions on how to live more ecofriendly and asks readers to make the
change.
9
Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone
by J.K. Rowling
The first book in the Harry Potter series.
Harry goes to wizard school and becomes
a Gryffindor. He learns to play quidditch, a
soccer like game played on flying
broomsticks, and he fights an evil within
the school with his newfound magical
powers.
10
Diary of a Wimpy Kid by Jeff Kinney
In his first year of middle school, the main
character Greg Heffley deals with
“cooties,” learning to wrestle, Halloween,
acting in the school play, and other
problems that many middle school
students face.
Answers
1. Nonfiction ; Informational Writing
2. Nonfiction ; Informational Writing
3. Nonfiction ; Autobiography
4. Fiction ; Science Fiction
5. Folktale ; Fable
6. Fiction ; Historical Fiction
7. Folktale ; Tall Tale
8. Nonfiction ; Persuasive Essay
9. Fiction ; Fantasy
10. Fiction ; Realistic Fiction