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Hannah Webb


Teaching Reading: Mini Lesson Format (Calkins, 2001)

Targeted Literacy Strategy or Skill: Inferring and Questioning to Understand Historical Concepts
Grade level: Fourth Grade
Objective: The student will be able to better infer information and understand stories that they read when
stating questions that they have and inferring the answers.
Common Core State Standard/ PASS Standard: 4.1.R.2 Students will ask and answer questions to seek
help, get information, or clarify information presented orally through text or other media to confirm
Prior knowledge: (What students already know): Students have learned and understand how to use
questions to infer information for different genres; they also know how to use many different techniques
to organize the information that they have learned over the year.
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 noticed that my students have been struggling a little bit with figuring out how to infer their own ideas
and thinking to find answers to their questions when reading.

Materials Needed
- A Sweet Smell of Roses by Angela Johnson
- Readers Notebooks
- Book worksheets
- Pencil / Markers
Lesson from (Name your source including page number)
Strategies That Work by Stephanie Harvey and Anne Goudvis
- Mentor Text: Stragies That Work & A Sweet Smell of Roses by Angela Johnson
- A Sweet Smell of Roses by Angela Johnson
- Readers Notebooks
- Book worksheets
- Pencil / Markers
Student Groups (whole/small group/partners): Start as whole group then work in small groups.
Mini Lesson Format:
Connect (AKA~ Anticipatory Set, Engagement/Pre-reading):
I will begin by stating what I think my students have been working on throughout the past year and
how we are going to use that when it comes to what we are going to work on today.
I know that over the past few weeks we have gone through many genres and types of books, and that we

have learned how to infer information by using questions to help us further our knowledge. The genre that
we are going to be working with today is historical fiction. We have used several different techniques to
organize our information like synthesizing information, finding thick and thin questions, and also using
inferential thinking to answer questions we may have. So today we are going to use one of our tools from
our toolkit to analyze our book.
Next, I will introduce the book we will be using, the tool we will be using, and we will discuss a
little bit of background information about the book.

Teach (Model/Explain)

The historical book I have chosen for today is A Sweet Smell of Roses by Angela Johnson and
we are going to use a T-chart to write down our questions and answers. One side of our T-chart has I
Wonder (questions) written at the top, and the other side has I Think (inferences) written at the top.
And I have passed them out to each table. So as you all know, this is a book about the civil rights
movement, and a march that took place. Today when reading, I want you to use that background
knowledge that you have about the civil rights movement and apply it to this activity in order to
answer your questions.
Next I will begin reading the first few pages, and add questions to our chart as I read. Then when
we keep reading and begin adding information to our chart as well.
I am going to read the first few pages from this story, and then as we go along, when we come up
to something we may wonder about, I am going to add it to our T-chart on the questions side. Then
when we come across information that may answer our question I will add it to the information
side of our T-chart.
Start reading:
After a night of soft rain there is a sweet smell of roses as my sister,
Minnie, and I slip past Mamas door and out of the house down Charlotte Street.
After reading this page, I will write down a question that I come up with, on the questions side of
the chart. The question is Where are they sneaking off to?
So I found a question, I wonder where they are sneaking off to.
Past the early morning milk man, over the cobbled bridge, and through the curb
marketto where everybody waits to march. Minnie and I are only waist high to
most of them. Waist high, Minnie and me, waist high, holding hands and waiting
to march.
After reading this page, I will write down an answer to my question I came up with and I will add
another question to my chart.
So we can see from reading that we found the answer to our question. They are sneaking off to
march in something. This brings me to another questions. Why are they marching?
There is a sweet smell of roses as everyone waits for Dr. King to speak. And

the colorsbright light from the sun on the flowers beside the road as we
listen to Dr. King on the megaphone say, We are right. We march for equality
and freedom.
After reading this page, I will write down my answer to the question that I have just written before.
So as we can see, our question was answered on this page. They are marching for equality and
freedom. Some questions that you may have will be answered while reading and some may not, but
that is why we use context clues and inferential thinking.

Active Engagement (AKA~ Check for Understanding: students try it out, teacher observes):
Now, I want you to read the next pages of this book with your tables or shoulder partners and try
to look for things you wonder about and try to see if you can use information from the book, like
we have just done to answer your question. Im going to give you a few minutes to do this, they we
are going to come back as a group and discuss.
I will give them three to five minutes to do this part of the activity then we will come back and
discuss some of the questions and answers that they have come up with.

Link (AKA~ Closing the Lesson [with accountability for the skill/process])
I hope that in the future, you will be able to use this method of questioning and using context
clues to understand what you are reading when you are looking at all genres of books, not just one
genre. You all now have several tools in your toolkit to be able to comprehend what you have read,
and I want you to be able to actually use them while reading. So make sure to keep these in mind
in the future.