Literary Genres in “Moby-Dick”

Moby Dick is more than a whale of a tale narrated by Ishmael. A lesson studying Herman Melville's classic novel asks readers to examine the different genres the author weaves into his story. Instructors model how to conduct a stylistic investigation of literary genres with Chapter 9, "The Sermon." Groups then repeat the process with Chapter 32 "Cetology" and Chapter 40 "Midnight, Forecastle." To conclude the lesson, writers craft an essay in which they use evidence from the text to support their assertion that including different genres either benefits or detracts from the story.

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CCSS: Designed
Instructional Ideas
  • If class members have studied The Grapes of Wrath, begin the lesson with a review of the different genres incorporated in the intercalary chapters of John Steinbeck's novel
Classroom Considerations
  • The final lesson in a three-lesson unit study of Moby Dick
  • Requires copies of the worksheet
  • Includes a teacher version of the worksheet
  • None
Common Core