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Kelsey Townsend


Teaching Reading: Mini Lesson Format (Calkins, 2001)

Targeted Literacy Strategy or Skill: Reading for the Gist
Grade level: 5th Grade
Objective: The student will be able to take notes and use a variety of comprehension strategies to
Common Core State Standard/ PASS Standard: SL.5.2 Summarize a written text read aloud or
information presented in diverse media and formats, including visually, quantitatively, and orally. RL.5.2
Determine a theme of a story, drama, or poem from details in the text, including how characters in a story
or drama respond to challenges or how the speaker in a poem reflects upon a topic; summarize the text.
Prior knowledge: (What students already know) Students have learned comprehension strategies such
as: questioning, visualizing, inferring, and making connections.

Observations/Rationale: (Before Lesson) What did you notice in your students work that let you
know this lesson was necessary? (This will be an approximation this semester.) I have noticed that while
students have been coding the text and writing in the margins during independent reading, they have not
done very much note taking while I read aloud.

Materials Needed:
Lesson from (Name your source including page number) Strategies That Work: Teaching
Comprehension for Understanding and Engagement by Stephanie Harvey and Anne Goudvis (pg. 187188)
Mentor Text: An Angel for Solomon Singer Story by Cynthia Rylant. Paintings by Peter Catalanotto.
Materials: Mentor text and reading notebooks.
Student Groups (whole/small group/partners): This lesson will begin with whole group instruction. We
will list, as a group, all the comprehension strategies we have learned so far. I will then do a read aloud
and model what I want the students to do. They will then independently respond to the text as I continue
to read. When the read aloud is complete, the students will share their notes with their table group. We
will then come back together as a group to discuss what we have done and why it is important.

Mini Lesson Format:

Connect (AKA~ Anticipatory Set, Engagement/Pre-reading): Good morning, readers! We have
been talking a lot lately about reading comprehension strategies that can help us better understand
the books we read. To refresh our memories, I want us to make a list of the strategies we have
learned on the next clean page of your reading notebook. Make sure there are two pages next to
each other for the activity later. Raise your hand if you remember a comprehension strategy that
we have learned in the past month or so. Yes, (students name)! Allow time for student to
respond. Thats right, questioning is a very important comprehension strategy. Now can someone
tell my why it is important to ask questions while we read? Allow time for response. Do this for
all strategies that the students list. These may include: questioning, visualizing, inferring, and
making connections. Now that we remember all our comprehension strategies, we are going to
talk about using them while we read independently as well as when I am reading aloud to you. I
have noticed that you use some of these strategies while you are reading independently, however,
you are not doing so while I read aloud. Can someone tell me why it is important to still employ
these strategies during a read aloud? Allow time for response. That is great thinking! Even
though you are not the one reading, it is still very important to take notes to better understand what
is being read. This will keep our attention from wandering to something else.

Teach (Model/Explain) So, to help us with this, I am going to read An Angel for Solomon Singer
written by Cynthia Rylant, illustrated by Peter Catalanotto. Before we read, I want you to get your
notebook ready. At the top of the next page, write Using Comprehension Strategies to synthesize
text. Now, this page is where you will write your notes. I will model what I want you to do as I
read the first few pages. Alright, this is An Angel for Solomon Singer written by Cynthia Rylant,
illustrated by Peter Catalanotto. After reading the first page, stop and write your thoughts. Okay,
after this page, I was thinking that Solomon doesnt like where he lives. So, I am going to write
that in my notes section. Solomon doesnt like where he lives. Read the second page. Now this
page makes me see how much Solomon wishes he lived in a better place. As he is describing the
things he doesnt have, I pictured Solomon sitting next to a picture window, surrounded by yellow
walls, watching the birds with a smile on his face. So, I am just going to draw that in my notes
section. Now as I read the rest of the book,

Active Engagement (AKA~ Check for Understanding: students try it out, teacher observes):
Now, as I read the rest of the book, I want you to jot down anything you are thinking, any
questions you have, and draw any pictures that you visualize. When we are done reading, we will
talk about our notes. Read the rest of the book. Now that we are finished, I hope you all have a
lot of useful notes. I am going to give you a couple minutes to share your notes and your thoughts
with your table group. Go ahead and share your thoughts! Now that we are done sharing, I want
each table to share which strategy was used the most at your table and give an example. Why do
you think that strategy was used the most?

Link (AKA~ Closing the Lesson [with accountability for the skill/process]): You have all done a
great job using the comprehension strategies to synthesize the text. Now I want everyone to
remember that these strategies are important to use both during independent reading and when I
read aloud. In the future, use these tools to help you better understand the text during all reading.