Mini-Lesson Plans

A Printable Template for Writer's Workshop

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What Is a Mini Lesson Plan?

A mini-lesson plan is designed to focus in on one specific concept. Most mini-lessons last approximately 5-20 minutes and include a direct statement and model of the concept from the teacher, followed by a class discussion and execution of the concept taught. Mini-lessons can be taught individually, in a small group, or to a whole classroom.

Below you will find a mini lesson plan template that you can use in your own classroom.

You will see that there are sections for: main topic, materials, connections, direct instruction, guided practice (where you write how you actively engage your students), link (connect it or link it to something), independent work, and, finally, sharing.

(To print: Click the printer icon in the top right-hand corner.)


  • What is the lesson about? What does it focus on? This where you name the teaching point.


  • Gather the materials you will need in order to teach the concept to the students.


  • Activate prior knowledge. This is where you talk about what you taught in the previous lesson. For example, "Yesterday we learned about..." and "Today we will learn about..."

Direct Instruction

  • Demonstrate your teaching points to the students. Act as if you are a student working independently. For example, "Let me show you how I..." and "One way I can do that is by..."
  • Explain teaching points and give examples.
  • Model
  • Guided practice

Active Engagement (Guided Practice)

  • During this phase of the mini-lesson, you coach and assess the students. For example, you might start the active engagement portion by saying, "Now you are going to turn to your partner and..."


  • This is where you will review key points and clarify if needed. For example, "Today I taught you..." and "Every time you read you are going to..."

    Independent Work

    • Students practice working independently using the information they just learned from your teaching points.


    • Can be individual, partner or group.
    • Students share what they have learned. Ask students, "Did you use what you learned? Did it work? How will you use it next time? What types of things would you do differently?"
    • Tie up any loose ends and use this time to further instruct.

    For additional information and tips read about thematic units and lesson plans.

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    Your Citation
    Cox, Janelle. "Mini-Lesson Plans." ThoughtCo, Dec. 21, 2016, Cox, Janelle. (2016, December 21). Mini-Lesson Plans. Retrieved from Cox, Janelle. "Mini-Lesson Plans." ThoughtCo. (accessed February 23, 2018).