Genre writing in Primary School

Document Type

Journal Article


Australian Literacy Educators Association


Faculty of Education and Arts


School of Education / Fogarty Learning Centre




Thwaite, A. (2006). Genre writing in primary school: From theory to the classroom via First Steps (1). Australian Journal of Language and Literacy, The, 29(2), 95. Available here


This paper presents a case study of some writing done by a Year 3 class in an Australian school. The children were aged approximately eight years and came from culturally diverse backgrounds. In Western Australia the majority of primary schools make use of materials that contain a version of Australian genre theory. Teachers have enthusiastically taken up some aspects of the theory, such as the schematic structures or 'frameworks' of the genres, while lower-level linguistic features have received less attention. This paper focuses both on the translation of genre theory into teaching materials, and on the way in which some of these ideas are implemented in the classroom. The aim is to document the way in which writing is taught in this particular classroom, and to begin to investigate the relationship between linguistic theories about writing and learning to write, and what actually happens in the classroom.