In Texas, as in other states, the reading standards have a heavy focus on genre. Because of that, many of my lessons for readers workshop were based in teaching students how the various genres were constructed. That knowledge was helpful to them in comprehension of what they read.
You can consult the Oracle (Google) and find lots of information on genre, but I found it easier to have one big guide with me when I was lesson planning. I've cleaned up that document and posted it for you to access.
It includes a definition of each genre as well as the main characteristics for each. I have also included some key vocabulary terms associated with the genre.
Please go take a look. Just click on the picture and it will take you there.