What Text Types Should We Teach About in School?

Written by Dan

Last updated

Should we focus on traditional genres like essays, short stories, and poems in our English classrooms? Or is it more beneficial to branch out and teach about other text types, such as blogs, infographics, and podcasts?

In this blog post, we’ll explore the various text types and discuss which could be most beneficial for students to learn about in school.

Related: For more, check out our article on How To Make Writing Fun  here.

text Types

Incorporating different text types in the school curriculum can benefit students, who will develop skills beyond strict grammar and syntax.

Teaching text types allows students to learn essential communication skills, creativity, and problem-solving through expressions such as persuasive argumentation and narrative storytelling.

Students can bridge their unconventional ideas into tangible and meaningful forms to share with others by understanding the basics of these forms of expression.

These competencies will help them throughout their schooling and give them the necessary tools for professional success beyond the classroom.

Here’s a table summarising various text types that should be taught in school, suitable for inclusion in your article:

Text TypePurposeKey FeaturesEducational Value
NarrativeTo entertain or tell a storyCharacters, plot, setting, conflict, resolutionEncourages creativity, develops language and storytelling skills
ExpositoryTo inform or explainFactual information, logical structure, clarity, objectivityEnhances comprehension and organization of complex information
DescriptiveTo create a vivid pictureSensory details, adjectives, metaphors, similesFosters use of descriptive language and sensory detail
PersuasiveTo convince or persuadeArguments, persuasive techniques, evidence, point of viewDevelops critical thinking and argumentative skills
ArgumentativeTo present a balanced debateClaims, counterclaims, evidence, reasoningTeaches students to construct and defend an argument
Procedural/InstructionalTo direct or instructSequential steps, imperative verbs, specific detailsHelps students understand and write clear instructions
ReflectiveTo share personal thoughts or experiencesPersonal insights, reflective questions, narrative elementsEncourages self-awareness and personal growth
AnalyticalTo analyze or critiqueThesis, analysis of elements, supporting evidenceSharpens analytical thinking and critical evaluation
PoetryTo express ideas through verseRhythm, rhyme, imagery, figurative languageCultivates an appreciation for rhythm, sound, and expression
JournalisticTo report news or eventsInverted pyramid structure, objectivity, the 5 Ws (Who, What, When, Where, Why)Teaches how to write factually and concisely about current events

This table covers a range of text types that are important for students to learn about, understand, and practice in school, each with its own unique purpose and educational benefits.

Types of Texts Taught In School

In school, students learn various texts, which help them understand their world better. Fiction, non-fiction, essays, and poetry are the most common types that can be studied.

Students can explore worlds outside their own and make real-life connections through a fictional book or story.

Non-fiction texts offer factual detail on topics ranging from science to history, allowing students to understand essential concepts entertainingly.

Essays are great for helping to form strong writing skills while giving students the freedom to express themselves through their own choices and words.

Understanding how to analyze poetry also helps build critical thinking while enjoying the beauty hidden within the comments. These texts offer unique learning opportunities that encompass all facets of understanding the written world around us.

text types

Examples of Text Types

We use written texts in almost every aspect of our lives, from books and magazines to emails and news articles.

But did you know that there are different types of readers? Narratives provide stories filled with characters, emotions, and conflict.

Descriptions give vivid accounts of events, people, places, or objects. Expositions help us better understand complex topics by logically presenting facts.

Instructions help us safely accomplish tasks without worrying about trial-and-error approaches.

Arguments can be found in op-eds or political speeches that use evidence to persuade readers to consider an opinion.

Non-chronological reports present facts about a specific topic organized into headings, making them easier to digest.

Diaries provide insight into someone’s thoughts and feelings.

Dialogues give us a peek into conversations between characters in books, movies, or plays. Letter Writing is a powerful tool for communicating with family and friends.

Awareness of the fine distinctions between these various types of written texts helps us navigate our lives more effectively and appreciate why certain pieces are informative while others are entertaining or persuasive.

The Benefits

Teaching students about different types of texts has numerous benefits. One is that it helps to expand their knowledge base, providing them with new and exciting facts about a wide range of topics.

Understanding different text forms, such as articles, poetry and plays, also helps foster critical thinking skills.

That’s because it enables students to look at problems from different angles, developing problem-solving abilities. Students who are aware of the various text types can also apply this knowledge and skill set to creative endeavours.

This could involve writing their own stories or poems and creating works of art with a narrative component. Thus, teaching students different types of texts undoubtedly enhances their overall education experience.

What do you think?

While there are many different text types, it can take time to decide which texts should be on the syllabus for school.

From ancient documents to modern literature, from journalism pieces to reports and research papers, students need exposure to various text types available worldwide.

As such, school curriculums need to include a variety of texts so that students can gain exposure to different writing styles and forms of communication.

We invite our readers to share their opinions about what text types should be taught in school to provide students with an engaging learning experience and open up dialogue about the importance of diverse reading lists.


Letter Writing:

Dear Mrs Smith,

I invite you to lead a reading workshop at our school next Friday. We are very excited to have you share your valuable insights with us and feel strongly that your engaging teaching style will benefit our students greatly.

Your workshop will inspire and encourage our pupils, helping them grow in their confidence, knowledge and appreciation for the written word. Please get back to me at your earliest convenience if this sounds like something that would interest you.

We look forward to hearing from you soon and are eager to meet you and listen to what you say about reading in the classroom.

Thank you for considering my invitation, and I look forward to speaking with you soon.

Non-Chronological Report

The historic city of York has been a landmark in the north of England for centuries. Once known as Eboracum and founded by Emperor Septimius Severus in 71AD, it is home to many ancient monuments and historical sites.

From gravesites discovered during excavations at Coppergate to the Roman walls still standing today, a trip to York reveals centuries of history dating back to prehistoric times.

This report takes readers first into the depths of its fascinating medieval period, showcasing some of its most fascinating architectural treasures, such as the 972ft long city wall and York Minster cathedral, before delving into more recent additions, such as the National Railway Museum and Jorvik Viking Centre.

Providing an overview highlighting ancient and modern aspects of this captivating city, this report is an excellent example for primary school children wanting to learn how to write their non-chronological essays.

Newspaper Article

At Adams Elementary, the future of journalism is already taking shape. Fourth-grade students recently published a newspaper article about their teacher, Ms Jones.

Interviews with Ms Jones and her students provided insights into her passion for teaching and her dedication to her profession.

They highlighted how she motivates them to do their best and makes learning fun daily for everyone in the classroom.

Outside the school, Ms Jones volunteers in the community and encourages students to give back through service learning projects that help make a difference in helping others.

This engaging article provides an inspiring example of how young journalists can write compelling pieces highlighting essential people who impact our world today.


Mrs Perry’s prize-winning garden was indeed a sight to behold. Tall, brightly coloured flowers towered over the winding pathways, and vibrant leafy vines twined around the edge of her lawn.

The centrepiece of the sprawling landscape was a water feature which bubbled gracefully in the middle of the garden.

Mrs Perry spent countless hours tending to her plants, ensuring that each species flourished in its own way while complimenting the garden’s overall beauty.

Visitors often remarked upon how serene and majestic it all seemed – an oasis within a busy city street.

Whether admired from afar or experienced up close, Mrs Perry’s garden was always a fantastic display of nature.

Exposition Plan

An excellent example of an exposition can be seen in a primary school research assignment about the importance of trees in the environment.

The author could begin by introducing the topic, discussing how trees provide oxygen and aid in climate control, as well as being home to countless species of animals.

From there, it moves into its central argument: trees are essential for maintaining a safe and healthy planet for future generations.

Further, the piece might look at measures to protect them better or even informative points on sustainable methods of harvesting wood and replanting forests.

To conclude the exposition, it could focus on urging readers to consider their actions and how they can help to contribute positively towards protecting our trees through advocating for government policies or personal activities.

Such an exposition is an inspiring writing model for primary school learners who may still need exposure to persuasive and argumentative writing styles.


John and Sarah stood in the school library, eagerly discussing a book they had just read. John said enthusiastically, “I enjoyed the story during our read-aloud time! There was something so magical about it.”

Sarah responded thoughtfully, “Yes, the sequence of events was engaging, and I loved how the author used symbolism to explore themes of courage and bravery.”

As they continued their discussion of the book, both students could feel a growing comfort and confidence in their writing abilities. This powerful example from the school library is a model for all primary school students who wish to hone their writing skills through thoughtful dialogue.

Many different types of texts can be taught in school. Each type of text has its purpose and can be used in real life. The benefits of teaching students about different types of texts include:

  • Helping them to improve their writing skills.
  • Expanding their vocabulary.
  • Improving their critical thinking skills.

What do you think? Which text type do you think is most important for students to learn? Share your thoughts in the comments below!

assorted-title book lot

Whether to focus on traditional genres or branch out to other text types in English classrooms is not a matter of either-or. Instead, it’s about finding a balance.

Traditional forms like essays, short stories, and poems provide a strong foundation in language arts and critical thinking. They introduce students to established literary conventions and timeless themes.

On the other hand, modern text types such as blogs, infographics, and podcasts reflect the evolving nature of communication in our digital age.

Teaching these equips students with relevant skills and keeps them engaged by connecting learning to their daily lives.

Therefore, educators should consider incorporating a mix of both traditional and contemporary text types into their curriculum. This approach ensures students comprehensively understand English literature and language while being prepared for the ever-changing digital landscape.


1. What are the traditional text types taught in school?

Traditional school text types typically include essays, short stories, and poems. These forms provide a foundation in language arts and critical thinking.

2. What modern text types could be taught in school?

Modern text types that could be taught in school include blogs, infographics, podcasts, tweets, and other forms of digital content. These reflect the evolving nature of communication in our digital age.

3. Why is it important to teach traditional text types?

Teaching traditional text types like essays, short stories, and poems introduces students to established literary conventions and timeless themes. They also enhance students’ skills in critical analysis and interpretation.

4. How can modern text types benefit students?

Modern text types such as blogs, infographics, and podcasts can equip students with relevant skills needed in the 21st century. They help students understand how to communicate effectively in various digital mediums, which is crucial in today’s tech-driven world.

5. Should schools focus solely on traditional or modern text types?

An effective English curriculum should incorporate both traditional and modern text types. This approach ensures students comprehensively understand English literature and language while being prepared for the ever-changing digital landscape.

6. How can teachers incorporate modern text types into their teaching?

Teachers can integrate modern text types into their lessons by assigning projects that require students to create their own blog posts, podcasts, or infographics. They can also use these formats as resources for teaching about specific topics.

7. Can learning about modern text types engage students more?

Learning about modern text types can potentially increase student engagement by connecting learning to their daily lives and interests. It also allows for more interactive and collaborative learning experiences.

About The Author

I'm Dan Higgins, one of the faces behind The Teaching Couple. With 15 years in the education sector and a decade as a teacher, I've witnessed the highs and lows of school life. Over the years, my passion for supporting fellow teachers and making school more bearable has grown. The Teaching Couple is my platform to share strategies, tips, and insights from my journey. Together, we can shape a better school experience for all.

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