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Literary Genres 101. Fiction These are stories that are NOT real! They are made-up. Can include fairytales, folktales, fables, myths, tall tales, realistic fiction, science fiction, fantasy, and historical fiction!. Genre Sorter. Folktale .

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literary genres 101
Literary Genres 101


These are stories that are NOT real! They are made-up. Can include fairytales, folktales, fables, myths, tall tales, realistic fiction, science fiction, fantasy, and historical fiction!

  • A story passed on by word of mouth rather than by writing
  • Often begins with "Long, long ago" or something similar
  • Tale spread by word of mouth among the common folk
  • Includes fairytales, legends, myths, fables, tall tales, parables
  • Stories with imaginary characters such as witches, giants and elves, dragons, ogres, or fairies
  • Usually begin with "Once upon a time" and end with "And they lived happily ever after."
  • Have good and evil characters.
  • Have heroes which are often princesses or princes.
  • Generally contain magic.
  • Have a problem and a solution.
  • Have events happening in "threes" or "sevens".
  • A very short story that makes an educational or cautioning point
  • Often end with,

"And the moral of the story is . . ."

  • Use animals as characters that speak and act like humans
  • Have a conflict and a resolution (a problem and a solution)
  • A very old story that explains features of the natural world such as why the sun rises each morning, where thunder comes from, or why the ocean has waves
  • Often include gods and goddesses and other supernatural characters who have the power to make unexpected things happen.
  • Try to answer serious questions about how things began or occurred.
tall tale
Tall Tale
  • A fictional story, presented as a true account usually told in the first person
  • Begins by describing a common situation
  • Gradually adds more and more unusual features until it pushes up to and beyond the limits of belief
  • Have main characters with extraordinary abilities such as great strength.
realistic fiction
Realistic Fiction
  • Made up of stories that could really happen. Contemporary realistic fiction is realistic fiction that is set in modern times.
science fiction
Science Fiction
  • A story that imagines a futuristic or alien world
  • Includes inventions that could exist in the future
historical fiction
Historical Fiction
  • A story that blends historical facts in a fictional story
  • Often educates and entertains

Fiction with a large amount of imagination in it

non fiction not fake real
NONFICTION“Not” fake, real
  • Writing that is factual

Examples include:

  • Biographies
  • Letters
  • Articles
  • Procedures and instructions
  • Charts
  • Maps
  • Dictionary
  • Journal
  • Textbook
  • Information
  • When someone else writes about the life of another person using firsthand accounts.
  • Tells the true story of a real person’s life; written by the subject himself or herself.
reference materials
Reference Materials
  • Materials which are usually consulted for specific information rather than read from cover to cover


  • dictionaries
  • encyclopedias
  • thesaurus
  • directories
  • almanacs
  • handbooks
  • atlases
  • statistical sources
informational text
Informational Text
  • Knowledge acquired through study or experience or instruction


  • manuals
  • how-to books
  • books which give facts
  • resource materials
  • Literature that is meant to be performed on stage. Dramas are also referred to as plays.
  • Contain scripts that contain dialogue, stage directions, and include props.
  • Written and arranged in an imaginative way to create an emotional response. There are many different types of poetry, some of which include: haiku, sonnet, free verse, ballad, limerick, lyric, epic, blank verse, etc.