Check out my blog post describing how I use this in my room!!! :)
The Genre's Court
Welcome to The Genre's Court!
My students absolutely love going to court and defending their genres. We introduce and/or review genres about every 3 weeks with which we culminate the week with a trip to “the genre’s court.” I wear my college graduation gown as the publisher, and we rearrange all the desks to match the map of the courtroom which is included as “the people in the genre court.” *I also found the theme music to the actual show that I play as I walk in the "courtroom" and as the "authors" walk out.* The kids absolutely love it!! They all know the music right away! :)
Then throughout that week, students have worked in groups to pick a book from the classroom library and fill out “the authors” clipboard page in preparation for their court hearing. once they get used to the activity, I will have students be the publishers as well. We follow exactly how the courtroom works such as “all rise” when the publisher (judge) comes in. “The authors” and “the critic” walk down the aisle to their seats. “The readers” have little pads of paper to write down evidence and important information so they can summarize the hearing for the “book reviewer” during intercessions. “The editors” fill out their clipboard page as the trial happens. Then they talk together to decide whether or not “the authors” defended their genre. Once they determine their verdict, court continues as ‘the copywriter” retrieves the verdict from “the editors” and gives it to “the publisher.” Then one of “the editors” shares the verdict with the courtroom. If they did defend the genre, the book is free to be placed back in the correct book bin. If not, the book goes to jail until someone can defend its genre.
So as you can see, you can really get creative with this and teach your students way more than just about genres. I have the cards for each job as a way to randomize what job they are responsible for that day. I hole punched the cards and used yarn to make them name tags that they can wear during the court time. I also have more than one trial on that day so you can have the students switch jobs or stay the same. I also put the first sheet of this stating, “the genre’s court” on the smartboard as a backdrop for the trials. :)
One other thing we do is have "court reporters" interview the "readers" during recesses in the trial with the iPads. One video tapes and the other interviews asking how the trial is going, which genre they believe the book is and why. We then take these and create iMovies with them to share with the room.
1- Title/Backdrop page
The Genre's Court Table of Contents describing each job
1- Map of Courtroom- People in Genre Court
1- Clipboard graphic organizer for "The Authors" to defend their genre
1- Clipboard graphic organizer for "The Editors" to fill out during the hearings
36 job cards to distribute to determine jobs for the court (4 blank to add anything you'd like)- you can hole punch them and use yarn to make them name tags
I am planning on adding in the pages to make "reader notebooks" to write in in case you don't have small notebooks to use. The "readers" are the spectators who write down information from the trials such as proof for the genre they are defending. Hopefully, these will be added in by this weekend, May 4 and 5th so check back for an updated copy to download!!
if you have any questions/suggestions, feel free to contact me at firstname.lastname@example.org.
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