Up until a few weeks ago, I had no idea what this was.  I went to an in-service that taught me not only what it was, but how easy and beneficial it is to implement into lessons.

First, let’s delve into what it is.  The definition of a multi-genre project is a project that focuses on one piece of literature but connects with several forms of genres.

For example, I used “The Treasure of Lemon Brown” for an in-class reading.  After analyzing and connecting with the text for two classes, I took the students to the computer lab to do an MGP.  I gave them a choice chart of six options and asked them to choose two.

These were the options offered:

Newspaper Article: Write a newspaper article about Lemon Brown’s talent, popularity, upcoming shows, and family. Include at least two pictures and three quotes from Lemon Brown.  Use fake quotes.
Go on pilotonline.com for ideas and how an article is formatted.
Post Card Conversation:  Use Powerpoint to create a postcard conversation from East St. Louis written by Lemon Brown to Greg (and from NY from Greg to LB). Include what Lemon Brown has been up to, his job, where he’s living, the people he meets, and what he does for fun.
4 slides of Greg and LB’s conversation!
Collage:  Create a collage using the following requirements:
·       the title in the middle,
·       5 pictures
·       the theme of the story
·       the names of the characters

Photo Story:  Use Powerpoint or Photo Story to retell the story of Lemon Brown. Make sure you include the most important parts of the story and images that relate to the story and your events.

Timeline:  Create a timeline about the history of the Blues. Include pictures, dates, and major events that occurred in the music history.
Song or Poem:  Write a song or poem as if you were Lemon Brown describing your new life in East St. Louis.  Include specific details from the story in your work. Must have 3 stanzas and a chorus/refrain.















Each of these options gave the students the ability to study the same story in different ways.  They were able to take the story they’ve read and analyzed for two days and really connect with it using different forms of writing techniques and genres.

The benefit to these projects is the that the students learn about different genres and topics by connecting them to the story.  They learn how to research and choose information carefully, they learn how to use computer programs and create technological projects.  Students learn how to write academically and apply higher level thinking skills in a fun way.  And giving the students a choice between which projects to choose was invaluable in itself.  The kids voiced that they very rarely get to choose what they get to do in school and by giving them the freedom to choose even this gave them energy and accountability.

Personally, I was a little skeptical when the presenter was explaining this new project idea and I thought with all of the things I’m already doing, how will I possibly pull this off?  But the truth is, it pulls itself off with a little work and great ideas.

Any story can be made into a Multi-Genre Project.  Any story will have concepts of history, science, cooking, math, language, music, arts, etc.  It’s up to you to take those nuggets of information and turn them into interesting and fun projects that will make the kids want to spin gold.  And the best part is that the majority of the time, there’s a wonder to connect to the projects!  Amazing, right?

I think so and so do the kids.  It’s worth a shot. Let me know if it works, flops, or if you have questions.  I’m here to help you with educational success.

Thanks for reading and remember to always wonder!

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