Hungry for Reading!


By: Jessica Strickland

Rationale: For students to become fluent in reading they must practice reading, and re-reading with decodable words in a connected text. Fluency is important because it develops reading comprehension, speed, and expression in reading. In this lesson, students will read and re-read a decodable text with a partner and account for their time with fluency checklists on speed, comprehension, and expression.



-Dry erase board and marker

-cover –up critters

-class set of Mouse Tales by Arnold Lobel

-Reading time sheet (class set)

-Fluency Partner reading checklist (class set)

-Stop watch


-Class fluency chart (Mouse trying to get to a piece of cheese. Crumbs along the way signify how many words per minute. Each student will have their name on a "crumb" and will move it up the chart according to how many words they read per minute.) (class set)

-Readers Theatre "The Legend of Lightning Larry" by Aaron Shepard (copy for each student with their part highlighted)




Reading Time Sheet:

Name: ____________________________ Date: ____________


1st time after 1 minute: ________


2nd time after 1 minute: _______


3rd time after 1 minute: _______



Partner Reading Checklist:

My name: __________________________ My partner's name: _____________________

When my partner read he/she…..

                                                After 2nd read             After 3rd read:

Remembered more words          _____________            _____________

Read faster                                    _____________            _____________

Read smoother                    _____________            _____________

Read with expression                   _____________            _____________


1.Today we are going to talk about what it means to be a fluent reader. That means we are going to practice reading faster and with expression. Write the sentence: My birthday party was the best! (on the board) When children first learn how to read sometimes they sound like this: Mmyyy bbiirrttthhhddaayyy ppaarrtttyy wwwaasss tthhee bbeessttt. Then, when they get better at reading they might read it all together, but they might sound kind of like a robot. My-birthday-party-was-the-best. When you read, it is important to show expression. For this sentence, I can see that there is an exclamation point at the end, so that tells me that the character is excited! So when I read that sentence, I will know to read with an excited voice. My birthday party was the BEST! Now let's try it together. Have the students say it with you, using their excited expression.

2.Next, I would review the cover-up strategy with the class. Sometimes we come to a word that we don't know how to read. What can we use to help us figure out that word? That's right! Our cover-up critter! I would write the word 'skunk' on the board. Then model how to decode skunk by using vowel first, body coda blending. If I came to this word I would start with the vowel sound /u/. Then I would cover up all the letters so that I could only see the s and the k, and I would say sskkkk, then I would uncover the u and say skuuuuu, 'sku' then I would uncover the n and the k and say skunnkkk. Skunk. Our word is skunk. We can use our cover-up critters when we come to a word that we cannot read.

3.Remember that even though we are reading fast, we also need to pay really close attention to what we are reading. It is important to read at a nice and comfortable speed so that we can understand and remember what we are reading. If I read our first sentence like this : Mybirthdaywasthebest! It would sound like one long word, so we need to remember to slow down and put spaces between our words to understand what we are reading. It is also important to remember to cross-check when we read. Write 'The skunk was very stinky!' on the board. If I read 'The spunk was very stinky!' I would think um.... spunk? Oh, skunk! Skunks are very smelly animals!

4.Next, I would give a book talk on Mouse Tales by Arnold Lobel. Mouse Tales is a story about seven little mice who just can't fall asleep at night. They ask their Papa to tell them a story, but Papa does even better than that! To find out what Papa told them you will have to read 'Mouse Tales' by Arnold Lobel. Then I would put the students with a partner and pass out a stopwatch to each group as well as a reading time sheet and a partner checklist for each student. Now that you are with your partner you are going to take turns reading the story. While the first person reads their partner will time them for one minute. Then you will switch. You will do this three times. On the second and third time don't forget to fill out the partner checklist to see how your partner is improving. Students will get with their partner and begin reading and fill out their check sheets.

5.Now we are going to practice our reading in a fun way with a Readers Theatre. I will pass out their roles for Readers Theatre. Each student will have a copy of the script, with their part highlighted. They will perform "The Legend of Lightning Larry" by Aaron Shepard taken from Aaron Shepard's Readers Theatre site. You will have time to practice with your groups, and then we will perform our Readers Theatre for the class next door.

6.During the student's practice time, I will go around and monitor their practice. I will remind them to read at a good pace, and to pay attention to expression with exclamation marks and questions in their scripts.



I would assess each student individually by having them read a section from Mouse Tales to me and take note of their miscues during the one minute read. I will have each student's progress chart of the mouse reaching for the cheese and move their crumb to show them their progress in reading fluently. I will also use the student's fluency checklists for an assessment, which were filled out during reading with their partner. I will also assess through their performance of Readers Theatre.




Lobel, Arnold. Mouse Tales. HarperCollins. c1978. 


Shepard, Aaron. The Legend of Lightning Larry.


Terry, Meg. Climbing Up Fluency Mountain.


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