Understanding a Range of Informal and Formal Texts for Creation
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Microcredential ID : 2986
Secondary ELA Endorsement: Teaching Text Creation
0.5 USBE Credit


This microcredential represents educators' effective and consistent planning for literature or literary nonfiction instruction. This is the first microcredential in the Teaching Text Creation stack. This stack of microcredentials fulfills one of the requirements of a pathway for endorsement. Click the More Info button to learn more.

No standards provided.
How To Earn This Microcredential

To earn this microcredential you will need to collect and submit two sets of evidence demonstrating your effective and consistent instruction on the creation of a range of formal and informal texts. You will also complete a written or video reflective analysis.

A fee of $20.00 will be assessed once the microcredential is submitted for review.

This microcredential fulfills competency 5.1 for the ELA endorsement. This microcredential provides evidence that teachers understand key terms of genre and mode as an essential part of applying “knowledge about learning processes. . . [for] creating texts” (ELA Competency 5.1).

Many people and publications (teachers, writers, and even learning standards) conflate the terms of mode and genre; knowing the difference can help teachers create more effective writing instruction in their classrooms.

Important Terms

The umbrella term for large categories of writing that correspond to broad purposes of writing: argument (or persuasion), narrative, and informational (Ray). Mode can also address how a text is created (Kress).


The names of the kinds of writing writers do in different contexts that accomplish the purposes of the mode. Genres are developed in and respond to situations and contexts, so they name the things writers say they are writing when they write: op-eds, memoir, TED talks, or blogs. A single genre name may accomplish several mode purposes. For example, a blog could be informative (how to decorate a cake), argumentative (making a case for a community park to be built), or narrative (sharing the latest installment of the vacation tales). Genres, therefore, name what we are writing but may accomplish a variety of purposes. Likewise, one kind of genre may accomplish more than one mode at a time (e.g., a recommendation letter can both inform and persuade).

Digital writing :

Writing that is either produced or circulated using digital technology. Thus, it can include writing that occurs only online--blogs or text messages--but it can also include writing that is written and then shared through digital means, including uploading to a site or to the cloud.

Print writing :

Includes writing that is generally found in print mediums and that is shared person to person rather than widely distributed through electronic means. This writing might be produced using technology such as word processing, but it still has the more limited distribution of person-to-person and consists of genres generally found only in print (letters, literary essays, and similar genres).

Background Scenario / How This Will Help You

A ninth-grade teacher knows that her students need to write arguments to meet the standards. She sees that her students have lots of opinions about popular culture (movies, games, TV shows) and wonders how she can help them express and support their opinions to meet that standard.

She considers the possible genres that students might read and write in the world outside of school that will help them express these opinions: opinion/editorial (op-eds), reviews, and blogs are some of the options she considers. These are genres students might read and already know something about. She considers what traits each one might have that could help her students develop as writers, how accessible each genre is, and how students might respond to the choices in each genre. She considers each of these issues when deciding about what genre to have students write that meets the standard(s) for writing an argument.

Evidence Options
Be sure to submit the type and number of pieces of evidence specified below.
Category: Preparation and Planning

Submit the evidence below to demonstrate your effective and consistent preparation and planning for instruction in a range of genres.


Submit a Genre Planning Chart of three columns, one for each writing mode addressed in the Utah Core Standards (informational, narrative, and argument modes). Under each category, list 5-7 possible genres you have taught or could teach that meet the mode standard and are also engaging and accessible for the students in the candidate’s classrooms, along with a short explanation of how each genre depicts the mode. The listed genres should reflect a range that considers both print and digital genres as well as genres of a range in breadth, length, and audience.

Some genres may be less formal for writing tasks that do not go through the entire writing process but that may still meet learning objectives. As an example, see the Example Genre Planning Chart in the Resources section of this microcredential.

Category: Implementation

Submit BOTH of the evidence items below to demonstrate your effective and consistent implementation of instruction on the creation of a range genres.

Student Work:

Along with an assignment sheet or grading rubric for each mode, submit 3 work samples from a single student showing the range of genres, formal and informal, print and digital, that meet the three mode standards.

Be sure to follow your district/charter policies for student privacy.


Submit a short, narrated screencast of your course site (e.g., Canvas, Blackboard, Google Classroom) or planning book to demonstrate the range and breadth of genres, formal and informal, print and digital, taught with commentary of how they meet the three mode standards.

Review Criteria

Criterion 1: The Genre Planning Chart demonstrates a range of genres that accurately match the mode and evidence of the candidate’s accurate understanding of the terms.

Criterion 2: Evidence submitted represents a good range in breadth and formality as well as print and digital. The implementation evidence demonstrates understanding of terms and of students’ needs and abilities in the selection of tasks. Criterion 3:

Reflection Prompts

How have you used the differentiation of modes and genres in your writing instruction to create more effective tasks for your students’ learning?

How might you use differentiation in future practice to encourage more effective writing in a broader range of genres?

How have you seen your students benefit from writing a range of genres?

Review Criteria

Criterion 1: Reflection demonstrates accurate understanding of the concepts of genre and mode.

Criterion 2: Reflection demonstrates thoughtful application for the candidate’s own situation.

Criterion 3: Reflection demonstrates specific and concrete plans for future implementation of concepts.

Genre Planning Chart - Example

This is an example of the Genre Planning Chart you will submit for Evidence of Preparation and Planning.

Ray, K. W. (2006). Study driven: A framework for planning units of study in the writing workshop. Heinemann.

Chapters 4 and 5 specially address the terms and how understanding the terms can improve writing instruction.

ISBN 978-0-325-00750-2

Barbour, B. (2019, Aug 29). The power of short writing assignments. George Lucas Educational Foundation.

As teachers need to consider long and short writing, formal and informal, in a variety of genres, this article focuses on and gives examples of short writing tasks that can still help students explore learning and write effectively.

Hubbard, B. (2020, Feb 10). Expand the Range of Genres You Teach. Two Writing Teachers.

Inspiration and ideas to encourage educators to expand the possibilities when it comes to any genre they teach.

Position Statement on Writing Instruction in School

NCTE and its constituent groups have developed position statements on a variety of education issues vital to the teaching and learning of English language arts.

Courtney Bergman

Courtney Bergman
Troy Mecham

Troy Mecham
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