All the literary genres in one handy place
This sheet defines every type of literary genre (and sub-genre) that an elementary student may encounter, including poetry forms. Print it on both sides for them to keep in their desks when they are completing worksheets or reading and writing assignments.
I’ve included short codes for each genre to make it handier for your students. For 3rd, 4th, 5th or 6th grades.
Download the sample to see both pages.
Video tips: Using the literary genre reference tool
Samples from the reference sheet
Specific Genre / Definition
The Fiction Genres
- Fantasy: A story where things could not really happen. It includes things that are impossible in real life such as magic or talking animals.
- Historical Fiction: A story with made-up characters that is set in the past. The setting is real and comes from a certain time in history.
- Mystery: A story that includes a puzzle such as a crime and the main character goes about solving the puzzle.
The Nonfiction Genres
- Autobiography: A factual book about a real person’s life written by that person.
- Biography: A factual book about a real person’s life that is written by another person.
- Informational: A book that teaches the reader about specific facts and often includes photos and diagrams.
The Poetry Forms
- Acrostic: The first letters of each line form a vertical word that is the subject of the poem.
- Bio-Poem: A poem about you that follows a specific pattern to describe your life and your personality.
- Cinquain: A five line poem. Lines 1 and 5 are synonyms, line 2 has two words to describe, line 3 has 3 action words, line 4 has 4 feeling words.