An Introduction to Genre

Lesson Plan


  • Check previous knowledge of genre and give definition
  • Define the key terms discourse structure and register
  • Identify examples of the key terms in authentic texts

Lesson Plan

In Activity 1, the teacher could start by introducing the concept of genre. A useful warmer would be asking learners to discuss what the term genre means and generate examples, and then sharing with the whole class. To finish, show the first slide and check how closely their definitions match.

Next, show the slide with sentences a) to e). Ask learners to read the sentences and discuss what genre each one belongs to. For example, sentence a) most likely comes from a recipe. The following slide shows some suggested answers, but these are not exhaustive. As an extension, ask learners to explain what words or phrases helped them decide.

Activity 2 introduces the key concepts of discourse structure and register. Ask learners to discuss their understandings of these terms. It may be helpful to use the Englicious glossary. Check against the definitions in the next slide.

Show the slide with the dictionary extract. Ask the learners to identify elements of discourse structure and register. Use the next two slides to feedback and check their answers.

In Activity 3, learners will look at a new example of an authentic text. Start by asking the learners to share their understanding of what a blurb is and what one normally includes. The next two slides are both examples of blurbs, one from a picture book and one from a novel. For each slide, ask learners to identify discourse structure and features of register. Use the final two slides to feedback and check answers. These suggested answers are not exhaustive!

Further Work

Suggestions for extension activities

  • Compare the two blurbs. What features are the same and which are different? Why do you think that is?
  • Look around the classroom for more examples of book blurbs. What features can you identify? How do they relate to the genre of the book?


This series of resources explores how genre relates to grammar. The content of the lessons was devised and kindly provided by Prof. Andrew Goatly. You can find some of his publications for purchase on the Amazon website here.


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