Great Lesson part 2/3-part cards

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Three-part card material with foam core board. A copy of the story, “The Birth of Literature.” The story is included in the prior lesson, "Great Lesson for Literature..." For an opportunity to view the remainder of this material, (thirteen traditional forms and five genres), and consider a purchase, see the website,

Students will need their language notebooks, and a pencil.


Before presenting the lesson, have the pictures, labels, and definition cards laid out on the foam core board. Place this on prominent display as the children hear the lesson.


Ask the children to make observations, and to recall parts of the story.

Ask the children to observe the three part cards. What do you notice? After discussing this, ask the children to write down in their notebooks all of the thirteen traditional forms. Here, you will discover if children know the difference between traditional forms and genres.

—Next, ask students to write down the five genres.

—Explain the difference between traditional literature and genres. (Primarily it's the difference between literature that originates from an oral tradition, and literature that is authored.)

—Remove all the cards from the board and place in a basket.

—Ask a couple of children to help you sort the cards into three piles: one for pictures, one for labels and one for definitions.

—Model using the story to help place the definitions. I have "The Birth of Literature" on three laminated pieces of card stock that goes with the presentation material. For the work, students will need to read closely through the story to find where the cards should be placed. “Let’s see, first I have to find all the children of Story and Language. But I’m not sure who came first.” Read aloud the relevant section. “Here it is! The first child was a boy named Epic,” and so on.

Student Work: Independently, they place all the cards correctly on the foam core board.

Control Of Error

Control of error is the story, "The Birth of Literature"

Points Of Interest

Although traditional forms are, originally, from an oral tradition, there are exceptions. Rudyard Kipling's Just So Stories are authored, but they are still considered traditional literature.


The purpose of this lesson is to immerse children in the "whole of literature," before the many lessons and activities that will focus on individual forms and genres.


Have students sort the cards into their own "families." Who would be the parents? Who would be the children of those two parents?