Year 9 Film Unit 1 (Genre Wars)

Big Ideas: Categorisation. Expectations

Essential Disciplinary Knowledge: Genre, Reception Context, Production and Story Elements

Driving Question: What is Genre and how does it change our expectations for a film?

Unit Outline

In this Unit students gain an understanding of what Genre is, including in different mediums such as Film and Television. Students explore how Genres create audience expectations and use certain conventions and production and story elements.

Students plan a new media product that uses the conventions and elements of a specific genre. It is not necessary for students to create the media product but the emphasis should be on knowledge of the production elements used in that genre, such as sound, lighting and editing.

For this Unit, film trailers could be used. They are short texts that use specific conventions and can be easily analysed. This unit could also be expanded into making trailer remixes.

Culminating Products

  1. Series of visual diary exercises that explores genre and reception context.
  2. Text study analysis of production / story elements as they relate to a genre.
  3. Planning for a Media product that meets genre expectations


Learning Sequence (3 periods per week)

Session (48 mins) Focus What will students know and be able to do? What are the main learning activities? What are the assessment tasks?
1 Introduction to Film
  • Know and understand the DMC Agreement
  • Know what Genre is and give examples of different film genres.
  • Teacher to talk through DMC agreement and booklist for understanding.
  • Students fill out a year 9 film survey which leads to a class discussion
  • Introduce the idea of ‘genre’ – students brainstorm different film genres






2 Introduction to Genre
  • Students can define ‘Genre’
  • Students can name different production and story elements
  • Have students discuss what they understand about Genre
  • Genre description from Genre Introduction.
  • Students brainstorm list of different genres
  • Introduce some elements used to discuss genre (plot, character, props, setting, sound.)
  • Students use audience expectations table to discuss audience genre expectations from a range of different film posters.
3 – 4 Horror Genre
  • Students can describe story and production elements that are common in the horror genre.
  • Students can explore audience expectations of horror films using expected tropes and elements.
  • Genre – Horror keynote
  • Students brainstorm ‘What are the elements that make a film scary?”
  • Students explore questions in keynote that explore audience expectations in horror films
  • Students explore the ‘typical’ horror film fan
  • Watch some of ‘Nosferatu‘ – early German Expressionistic horror film. Discuss elements that a re similar and different to horror films of today.
  • Students watch a variety of different horror trailers and discuss genre elements and audience expectations using the Film Trailers and Genre Conventions worksheet.
5 – 6 Genre – Romantic Comedy
  • Students can describe story and production elements that are common in the romantic comedy genre.
  • Students can explore audience expectations of romantic comedy films using expected tropes and elements.