Differentiation in WW – Tip #2 – Mini-Lessons

Writing Workshop

Today’s post is all about mini-lessons.  One way to differentiate Writing Workshop for you class is tailored mini-lessons.

If you have Lucy Calkin’s Unit of Studies her books have mini-lessons to take you through each type of writing.  She also has a book called If…Then… that also has great mini-lesson ideas that you can use when you notice your students may need practice with certain skills.

If you do not have Lucy Calkin’s Units of Study, you can still differentiate with your mini-lessons. If you remember in my last post, I was talking about getting a writing sample as a pre-test.  From this writing sample you will be able to see what your students excel at and what they need to work on as a writer.  From the list of things they need to work on, you can create your own mini-lessons.

If I notice my students are struggling with word choice, I will do a mini-lesson where we practice adding descriptive words to a sentence.

If I notice the class struggling with capitalization, I will have them help me edit a piece (with lots of mistakes focused on capitalization).  If I notice that we need to work on adding details, I will have a mini-lesson focused on that.  For more mini-lesson ideas, check out my blog post about mini-lessons >>>here.

These differentiated mini-lessons can also be done in a small group.  From the student writing sample and observation you might have a few kids who need to work on a specific skill. Instead of doing a targeted mini-lesson whole group, you could pull them for a quick small group mini-lesson working on the specific skill they need help with.


On Thursday I will be sharing my next differentiation tip focused on paper and topic choices.


If you missed my past tips from the Differentiation in Writing Workshop series, click below…


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