The three text types detailed in the Iowa Core Standards–argument, informative/explanatory, and narrative–do not represent all text types that can or should be taught in K – 12. Such things as poetry, scripts, or web pages represent other important avenues for reflection, expression, and sharing. In addition, students may well work on projects that blend text types in new and creative ways. Students might also produce “non-textual” writing in the form of visuals, audio-video segments, sign language or other means of recording and communicating concepts and ideas.

Writers must learn to consider the task, purpose and audience when choosing a text type and venue for their writing. Consider these examples:

  • Grant application to school board for new, safer playground equipment: Students will use forms and rubrics to create arguments and informative/explanatory text, with short narratives as examples.
  • Collaborative wiki on Westward Expansion for peers: Students will use web tools for informative/exaplanatory writing, with animated charts and student-produced videos.
  • Skit for parents based on class field trip: Students will write a narrative script, with poems and a short musical number, which will also be delivered in sign language.

Writing is obviously more than argument, informative/explanatory, and narrative. While these three text types form a solid basis for college and career readiness in writing, they should also serve as springboards to reflection and communication in many other modes and venues.

Watch these videos from the Reading & Writing Project website to see how teachers helps students to blends text types: