Back to the Basics of Minilessons

Our lessons are that precious time we have to impart a piece of knowledge or skill with our students. This time directly teaching students important strategies that will help them grow as readers, writers, and thinkers is essential to the success of our students. Research tells us, students need to learn in small chunks and then be given time to chew on the new information presented in order for our teaching to stick. Minilessons provide the structure with which we can successfully meet the needs of our learners in a timely and effective fashion.

Alyssa Toomes

Literacy Coach ,Weber Elementary

Our Time Together


        Objectives & Norms
        Read pages 84-87 from The Art of Teaching Reading by Calkins
      • Architecture of a minilesson
      • Analyzing the structure of a minilesson
      • What keeps us from keeping it mini?
      • Refining our teaching language


      • Time
      • Minilesson Cheat Sheet

      Planning for Wednesday

      • Bring audio on your Latitude of a minilesson you teach today
      • Questions/Concerns
      • Generate a personal list of concerns and place them on a post-it. Please leave them

Video of a Minilesson

Record Yourself


  • Sharing our celebrations
  • Listen to your audio and script minilessons
  • Tips for minilessons
  • What implications will your experience have on your interactive read aloud and mini-lesson planning?
  • Minilesson planning sheet
  • 3-2-1 Summary

3-2-1 Summary/Action Plan

  • 3 big ideas from our PL time together
  • 2 points to ponder
  • 1 action to take immediately