Reading Workshop Minilessons

Feb 4, 2009 by

The reading workshop minilesson is an opportunity for the teacher to directly and explicitly instruct the whole class on a particular reading skill, strategy, or habit that will help students develop into independent, lifelong readers.  One teaching point is emphasized and the lesson should be brief (5-10 minutes).  Minilessons follow this basic structure:

                        Architecture of a Minilesson

Connection: Yesterday we… Today we are going to…
Teaching Point: I want to show… OR  We will examine…
Active Involvement: Engage students
Link: So today or whenever you…

Most minilessons fall into one of three categories:

  1. Management/Procedures
  2. Skills/Strategies
  3. Author’s Craft/Literary Analysis

Strings of organized minilessons become “units of study.”

Kathy Collins’ Growing Readers: Units of Study in the Primary Classroom provides a wonderful starting point for developing reading workshop units.  Her units of study include:

Readers Build Good Habits

  • Management and procedural expectations
  • Reading identities
  • Taking care of books
  • Understanding workshop procedures
  • How to stay focused on our reading
  • How to work with reading partners
  • How to have a good talk with our partners

Readers Use Strategies to Figure Out Words

  • Getting our minds ready to read
  • Acquisition of print strategies
  • Flexibility with print strategies
  • Reading with fluency
  • Choosing just-right books

Readers Think and Talk About Books to Grow Ideas

  • Book talks with partners
  • Retelling
  • Envisioning, predicting, making connections, having thoughts
  • Strategies for monitoring comprehension
  • Strategies to fix comprehension challenges

Readers Pursue Their Interests in Books and Other Texts

  • Genre studies and author studies
  • Character studies
  • Reading projects
  • Determining importance, synthesizing text, inferring

Readers Make Plans for Their Reading Lives

  • Reflecting on how we’ve grown as readers
  • Making reading plans for the summer (and for life)
  • Setting goals as readers
  • Determining our new reading identities

The following are minilesson chart ideas that I have collected from various classroom. Click to enlarge.

When You Finish a Book Reading is Thinking Getting Minds Ready to Read Book Recommendation Chart Reading Stamina How to Treat Books What Do Readers Do? When You Finish a Book Reading is Thinking

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