Teaching an Effective Guided Reading Lesson: The Mini Lesson

Contains Seven Leveled B or C Guided Readers

Guiding Their Reading: The Mini-Lesson

A guided reading lesson usually opens with a brief mini-lesson. The objective of the lesson is generally something that will help students read the text to be presented. And most generally, will look different for each reading group. For example, if you are going to read the book "Little Hearts," found in our February Guided Books,  you could choose from limitless mini-lessons. Following are a few suggestions.

Tracking Print
The strategy of tracking print can be practiced by printing simple sight words on cards and using picture cards or small objects for support in reading the sentence. 

Place the word cards in a row to construct a sentence. “Think Aloud” as you place the cards, talking about the words (and cards/objects), drawing attention to the space between words. “Okay. I now have a sentence. I will take my finger and point under each word that my voice is saying.” Point at each word one by one in a slightly exaggerated fashion. Ask students to read the sentence one by one pointing at each word as the word is spoken. After the activity, remind students that when you read today’s book, point at each word as it is read. *Note. For lower level groups, use only objects rather than words and allow students to practice naming an object only when their finger is pointing at it as they practice the skill of tracking.

Sight words: 
To practice the sight words included in your chosen guided reading selection, have the words ready to go, printed on cards. First show the students each word in flash-card style. Next, pull out a small deck of cards (about 3 or 4 of each word) with the words printed on them. “We are going to play Hot-Potato-Word!” “To play, I will draw the top card and read it. I will then pass it to ____ (the person at my left), and then he will read it and pass it, and he will read and pass until it gets back to me. I will then put the card in a container to cool it down.” After play, remind students to look for the sight words just practiced as they read the day’s book.