Get your students’ creative juices flowing with these fun genre writing activities. Use my step by step guide to inmplement these creative narrative prompt activities into your upper elementary classroom. Introducing genre writing to your class is easy, and your students will be inspired to keep creating new masterpieces after you’ve finished.

1. Introduce Genres

First, give the definition of genre. Genre: a category of art (such in music or writing), that is characterized by form, style, or subject matter. Genre is a French word that translated means “kind” or “type.” A genre is a “type” of story. Examples of genre are mystery, horror, science fiction, romance, drama, comedy, and more. These types of stories usually differ from one another, but genres can overlap. For instance, books can be both a mystery AND a romance. When the audience knows what genre a piece of a work falls into, they have a certain expectation before they even begin to read or view it! Last, brainstorm books or television that fit into specific categories. You can find all of the printouts below in my genre writing activity found in my TPT store.

Extension activity: take your class on a field trip to see the librarian, and ask them how they categorize their books!

genre writing

2. I do

Use the “I do, We do, You do” model with this lesson. I start with one specific genre, and walk through all of the steps.

creative writing activities

Mystery Genre:

A subgenre of narrative fiction that involves a crime to be solved.


Introduce the culprit and the detective early in your story. In creative writing, don’t identify the culprit until the end of the reading, but the reader should have a lot of time to guess who the culprit is! Introduce the crime in the first paragraph. The crime should be somewhat believable. Do not identify the culprit until the end to help add suspense to your writing. This also will keep your readers engaged. Hide evidence in your narrative that may seem unimportant throughout. Additionally, you may add a “red herring” clue that may lead the reader to false conclusions.

3. We do & You do

Display a graphic organizer for narrative writing. In the columns labeled “first, next, last” brainstorm a mystery story. This step is so important, because it helps your students gain confidence. After the “we do” portion of the lesson, give your students the same graphic organizer to have them write their own! Click here to find this entire writing lesson with graphic organizers, full examples, extension activities, and more genres.

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