Here’s a question I dug up from my teaching days (The Challenge was a story in our reading program, you can replace it with something you read.)
Is The Challenge an example of non-fiction, historical fiction, or realistic fiction? Support your answer with three explicit details.
The problems? It’s another low-level, one-off question. By most brilliant writer is stuck merely telling me “It’s realistic fiction.” So, here’s a sequence I’d use instead. Note how it moves around on Bloom’s Taxonomy!
Each part is a checkpoint. Students have to get a check from me before I hand them the next part. This maintains quality and helps me catch students who need a tune-up. No need to start Part 2 if you didn’t get Part 1 right.
Part 1: A New genre. Imagine The Challenge as either a science-fiction story, a fantasy story, or a piece of historical fiction. What key details would you need to change? What could stay exactly the same?
Part 2: Rewrite a piece. Start by rewriting just the climax of The Challenge into the new genre.
Part 3: Why would this be better? Write an email to the publisher, explaining how this new version of The Challenge will be more interesting while keeping the best of the original.
Want to keep going?
- Students can read their classmates’ versions. Which version do they think is the most unexpected?
- and/or, continue rewriting the rest of the story in the new genre.
- then film a commercial advertising the rewrite.
- or act out the climax as a skit.
The final product should flow naturally from the higher-order thinking my students have been doing. Hopefully, you can see how this sequence moves around on Bloom’s Taxonomy. It gives students somewhere to go once they can identify the genre. It’s got differentiation built-in (not bolted on).