Here is a Media Education activity to help students understand the concept of “genre”, from Chris Worsnop, retired English and Media Consultant, and education writer and consultant:
Collect newspaper ads and magazine ads for movies, preferably for movies that were popular a long time ago, and which students would not have seen.
Have students select one or two ads and clip them to remove any written text that would give away the genre of the film.
Then have them mount the ad on a sheet of paper or cardboard, with plenty of white space showing around the edges.
Students then challenge each other to determine the kind of film advertised in their ad, using only the visual information remaining after the written text has been removed. Students respond by writing in the white space around the paste-up. Comments like: “This is obviously an action film because . . .”
Draw the class to a conclusion by developing a series of lists of obvious components of different kinds of film genres.