WACHUSETT REGIONAL SCHOOL DISTRICT     Holden-Paxton-Princeton-Rutland-Sterling
Planning for Readers' Workshop

Readers’ Workshop is organized into units of study throughout the year. Year-long trajectories map the units of study for each grade level. 

Year-Long Readers' Workshop Trajectories

Essential Lessons for Reading Strategies

Units of study and focus lessons typically emphasize in-the-head strategies used by proficient readers. A series of essential lessons are necessary to develop these reading strategies. View the Suggested Sequence of Comprehension Strategies and the Essential Lessons for each strategy below. 

Essential Lessons for Retelling
Essential Lessons for Sensory Images
Essential Lessons for Asking Questions
Essential Lessons for Making Connections
Essential Lessons for Monitoring for Meaning
Essential Lessons for Determining Importance
Essential Lessons for Inferring
Essential Lessons for Summarizing
Essential Lessons for Synthesizing

Units of Study

Using the Essential Lessons for each strategy and the year-long trajectory for strategies and genres at a grade level, teachers will map Units of Study spanning one or more months. Using the Template for Units of Study, plan the progession of understandings and genre development in a cohesive manner. Since the workshop model is based on data-driven instruction, these unit maps may change over the course of the month. They are intended to be used as a roadmap, allowing for modifications based on data trends. 

Sample Units of Study

Each grade level will share similar unit of study maps, as the content and progression of strategies are constant throughout the District. However, teachers will customize their maps to best meet the needs of students in their classrooms. Frequent assessment and progress monitoring will help teachers determine what modifications will be necessary to evolve highly effective units of study for each strategy or genre. The units of study on this page are samples and should be modified to meet student needs in individual classrooms. 

Focus Lessons

Once unit mapping is complete, teachers will develop focus lessons that correlate with each day in the unit of study. Using the unit of study map for a particular reading topic, teams of teachers or individuals will develop focus lessons using the Focus Lesson Template. The focus lessons on this page are samples and should be used as models for focus lesson development.
Focus Lesson
15 minutes
  • Whole-group instruction
  • Explicit modeling 
  • Anchor charts
  • Guided practice
Independent Reading
30-40 minutes
  • Independent reading with "just-right" texts
  • Small-group instruction
  • Conferring
Group Share
5 minutes
  • Summarize learning
  • Share strategies
Structure of Readers' Workshop
Sample Units of Study
Sample Focus Lessons
Gradually Releasing Responsibility in the Workshop Model - A Middle School Example
Find out about small-group instruction and conferring in Readers' Workshop!