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Lesson Plan

Zines for Kids: Multigenre Texts About Media Icons

E-mail / Share / Print This Page / Print All Materials (Note: Handouts must be printed separately)

Grades 3 – 5
Lesson Plan Type Unit
Estimated Time Nine to ten 50-minute sessions
Lesson Author

Deborah Kozdras, Ph.D.

Deborah Kozdras, Ph.D.

Tampa, Florida


International Literacy Association



Featured Resources

From Theory to Practice



Students get to flex their writing muscles as they use a variety of writing genres to create a zine of their own: letter writing, persuasive writing, narrative, acrostic poetry, comic writing, and biography/autobiography. Each student chooses a prominent figure from popular culture as the focus for a multigenre zine and then plans the project using the Facts–Questions–Interpretations method. Students then write in each of the listed genres about their chosen subjects, using a variety of ReadWriteThink.org tools. Finally, students design covers for their projects, and the teacher binds all the printed documents into individual zines.

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  • Book Cover Creator: Using this feature, students can fully develop the front and back covers of their zine.
  • Multigenre Mapper: This tool allows students to label, separate by topic, and publish their zine pages.

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Allen, C.A., & Swistak, L. (2004). Multigenre research: The power of choice and interpretation. Language Arts, 81(3), 223–232.

  • Multigenre projects provide opportunities for in-depth experiences with topics. Supporting students in planning and organizing information allows them to write with purpose and passion in multigenre projects.

  • The Facts–Questions–Interpretations (FQI) method developed by the authors can help students move from dry facts to rich interpretation.


Callow, J. (2003). Talking about visual texts with students. Reading Online, 6(8).

Students working with visual "texts" need the technical skills to manipulate text, image, and color, but they also need to understand how these elements work together to create meaning.


Silverblatt, A. (2000). Media literacy in an interactive age. Reading Online, 4(3)

Successful media communicators

  • understand the communication process

  • recognize the purpose of the communication

  • know what they want to say

  • understand the characteristics of the media used to communicate

  • can identify their audience

  • are able to use feedback to ensure that the audience comprehends the message


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