What is the Best Order to Teach Minilessons?
I work with many teachers who have a strong desire to improve their literacy instruction. They have committed to teaching reading and writing through a workshop approach and have set aside time for their students to spend extended periods of time reading and writing. But then they get stuck because they don’t have the resources for teaching the minilessons they know they should be teaching. Many of them are in districts that have no formal program or are using strictly basals or scripted materials that don’t offer much depth or richness. This leaves them to fend for themselves and either create materials or pull together units of study from a variety of sources. For many years, that’s what I did. I have loads of professional books from which to pull ideas. (You can see my personal professional library here). Currently, many of the schools I am working with are using the Calkins Units of Study for Teaching Writing, so we are generally following the sequence of minilessons prescribed in the units with some of our own lessons thrown in.
But what if your school hasn’t purchased a resource like this? How do you know which order to teach your minilessons? I found a free resource that I would like to share with you. It is the Wachusett Regional School District website.
If you click on the Elementary Curriculum tab, a flyout menu will appear:
On this menu you will find resources for both reading and writing workshop, including a suggested sequence of lessons and lesson plans for oodles of minilessons. Continue to follow the flyout menus until you find your grade level and the resource you would like to download.
This site provides a WEALTH of information, especially for teachers who are struggling with the “where to start?” and “what lesson next?” questions. I’m grateful for all of the hard work this school district put into making this such a valuable resource. I hope you will find it helpful, too!