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Home » Blog » Literacy » Writing Mini-Lessons That Stick

Writing Mini-Lessons That Stick

Literacy, Writing & Language, Writing Instruction

Written by: Jess Dalrymple

Do you ever feel like no matter how many times you model a type of writing or a basic writing convention, your students are continually making the same mistakes once they’re released to write on their own? And no matter how carefully you teach the skill, or how frequently you prompt your students to “fix up the error”, many of them just don’t seem to remember?

This is a frequent frustration for most teachers. The million-dollar question – what can you do to ensure the mini-lessons you spend so much time developing actually stick with your students? 

First of all, keep at it! Writing mini-lessons do work! After all, in order to teach effective writing, you still need to model effective writing. But, you may find greater success with how much your students are transferring when you break up the writing task into bite-size skills AND use kid-friendly reference tools that match what you’re modeling in your lessons!

The writing checklists included in our Lucky Little Toolkit are just the ticket to accomplish this! They double as anchor charts for your writing mini-lessons AND as kid-friendly reference tools to give your students a reminder to apply what you just modeled. 

Read on to find out how to use the Lucky Little Toolkit writing checklists as a guide for what to teach in your mini-lessons and as a tool to make those writing skills stick when your students practice independently. 

Step 1 – The Writing Mini-Lesson

Writing checklists make GREAT anchor charts to support your mini-lessons. You can display the Lucky Little Toolkit writing checklists on your SmartBoard, or print them for use on chart paper. 

Achieve this anchor chart by simply printing the file as a poster size!

In this sample, the “Informative Writing Checklist” was used as the anchor chart AND as the guide for teaching six days worth of mini-lessons on informational writing with first and second graders. 

The items on the checklist provided the teacher with topics for each mini-lesson:

Day 1 Mini-Lesson = How to write about ONE informational topic.

Day 2 Mini-Lesson = How to write a topic/ main idea sentence.

Day 3 Mini-Lesson = How to give multiple true facts, definitions, or examples. 

Day 4 Mini-Lesson = How to use linking words to connect ideas. 

Day 5 Mini-Lesson = How to write a concluding statement or section. 

Day 6 Mini-Lesson = How to re-read your writing and make changes to make it even better.

Step 2 – Independent Practice

Now that you’ve modeled the skill in your mini-lesson, your students can refer to both your anchor chart AND their own personal checklist for independent writing following the lesson!

Ways to use the writing checklists with students: 

  • Staple the checklist into the inside cover of a writer’s notebook
  • Place the checklist in a plastic sleeve so students can check off the boxes with a marker and wipe off for multiple uses 
  • Provide students with a paper copy and attach it directly to the piece of writing. 

Bonus Idea: Use the checklist as a self-evaluation tool and review students’ ratings with them in 1-1 writing conferences!

Download Writing Checklist HERE

The Lucky Little Toolkit writing checklists help with the age-old issue of how to ensure your mini-lessons stick when it comes time for your students to apply writing skills on their own. 

And we’ve got you covered all year, with seven different writing checklists included in the toolkit: 

  • Opinion Checklist
  • Narrative Checklist
  • Informative Checklist (download this checklist below!)
  • How-To Checklist
  • Friendly Letter Checklist
  • Editing Checklist
  • Complete Sentence Checklist

What else is in the Lucky Little Toolkit?

If you’re looking for additional resources to enhance your writing instruction, the toolkit also includes:

  • Monthly writing prompts
  • Letter Formation Charts
  • Phonics Sound Charts
  • Punctuation Reference Tool/ Chart
  • Sentence Types Reference Tool/ Anchor Chart
  • Opinion, Narrative, & Informational Writing Prompts
  • Writing Templates & Organizers

And that’s just what’s included for writing!

The Lucky Little Toolkit also features just as many resources for math & language arts – all included in one incredible kit!

What is the Lucky Little Toolkit?

Download Lucky Little Toolkit Resources

Use the image below to save this idea to your Pinterest board!

Writing Mini-Lessons That Stick- writing doesn't have to be hard to teach or learn!  This post has some great ideas on how to break apart your teaching into writing mini-lessons!

1 Comment


    Love the poster size!!! Thanks for bringing all this great stuff to us Angie.😁


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Welcome, I’m Angie!

Hello there! I’m Angie Olson- a teacher, curriculum developer, educational blogger and owner of Lucky Little Learners.

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