Posted by: writersworkshophelp | November 8, 2007

Structure of a Mini-Lesson

There are four parts to the Mini-Lesson if you follow Lucy Calkin’s way from the Units of Study. They are Connection, Teaching, Active Involvment and Link. Following is a brief synopsis of each part:


Students access prior knowledge and hear the teaching point.

Teacher talk sounds like:

Yesterday we…
Today I’m going to …


We teach one skill, strategy, method, etc. during this time. There are four types of mini-lessons:

  • Procedures and Organizations (routines)
  • Strategies and Processes
  • Skills
  • Craft and Techniques

Teacher talk sounds like:

I want to show you…
Watch and notice how I…

Active Involvement

The teacher gives all students a quick opportunity to try out the new skill or strategy. Students practice the strategy and often turn and talk with their partner.

Teacher talk sounds like:

I invite you to try it in your writing.
Turn and talk to your partner how you can…


To bring closure to the mini-lesson, you link to what the class has previously learned.

Teacher talk sounds like:

So today and everyday…
Now, you know that writers…
As you continue your writing you may want to…


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