Mini-Lessons in Reading

Studies have shown that doing “mini-lessons” are very effective in teaching phonics and reading. A mini-lesson should last about 5 minutes. In it, your child or student reviews a concept that has been previously taught.

For example, if you have recently taught CVC words and CVCe words (consonant-vowel-consonant and consonant-vowel-consonant-silent e words), then you do a mini-lesson: “When you see an e at the end of the word, it is a silent e, and that makes the previous vowel in the word a long vowel sound.” Then have the students practice.

For CVC and CVCe words, I really like using letter tiles and adding the silent e onto CVC words to make a new word. Letter tiles are a great visual and kinesthetic tool. For example, spell the word “hop,” and then add the e to make “hope.” Have the students practice moving the e tile to make and read new words.

Flashcards, one page worksheets, using small whiteboards, etc. are all excellent ways to do a mini-lesson.

Remember, keep mini-lessons short and do them frequently!