Mini Lesson is a brief part of the entire lesson with a predictable structure: communicating the student learning objective, teaching a particular strategy or process using one of several teaching methods, providing students with an opportunity to apply the strategy or clarify the process expectations, restating what the students have learned or the expectations as students transition to the guided practice/inquiry portion of the lesson (Calkins, 2015).
- Set expectations/overview of objective and criteria for success
- Set a purpose
- Demonstrate a strategy (teacher and student)
- Ask a inquiry question/predicting an outcome
- Explicitly stating the objective and criteria for success
- Facilitating a discussion
- Checking for understanding and providing feedback
- Modeling a strategy or process
- Asking an inquiry question
- Responding to and asking questions
- Engaging in discourse
- Thinking about their thinking (meta-cognition)
- Applying a strategy
Lucy Calkins is the Founding Director of Teachers College Reading and Writing Project. Her work has influenced literacy instruction around the globe. Calkins is one of the original architects of the ‘workshop’ approach to teaching reading and writing; with her work built on the core belief all children can learn to read and write at high levels. She has authored more than 20 books, including Pathways to the Common Core and Reading and Units of Study in Reading & Writing, which are “widely regarded as foundational to language arts education throughout the world”.