What I See to Read Fluently

Reading to Learn

Natalie Brock



Fluency is necessary in order for a student to be a successful and confident reader.  One way to help a students achieve fluency is through visualization.  By visualizing the story when reading independently, this will help the student have a grasp on the concepts of the story and the details that the author uses to convey the message.  It also aids in making reading fun for students. 



Justin and the Best Biscuits in the World, The Unicorn by Shel Silversten, projector, copies for each student of My New School by Ken Nesbitt, paper, crayons, pencil, grading rubric.



1. First I will remind students about the importance of reading fluently as we have already discussed.  Remember that reading fluently means that you read at a good speed with expression and that you comprehend, or understand what you are reading.  Today we are going to work on reading fluently by using a tool called visualization.


2. Did you know that you could turn a book into a movie using only your mind? That is something that we will be learning how to do today! When I read a story, something that I like to do is to visualize the story, or picture the story in my mind as I am reading it so that I can better understand what is going on because of the picture I have come up with in my mind using the story. This helps me to become a fluent reader, and it will help you too! Just like when you watch a movie, when you read, you can turn the words into movie scenes, which help you understand what you are reading! Remember, the more you read the more fluent you become, and using visualization will help you to become a more fluent reader.


3. Now I am going to model for you what it is like to visualize a story. I will then read the poem "The Unicorn" by Shel Silversten. I will first read the poem once through.  I will then read the poem a second time, and while reading the poem, I will describe to the students what I am visualizing.  For example, "now I visualize, or am picturing, a big boat with a bunch of animals lined up two by two and then I can see the worried look on Noah's face because he can't find the unicorns!"


4. Now I want you to get with your partners and I want you to take turns reading "My New School" together out loud.  I then want you to read the poem to yourself silently.  While you are reading it silently to yourself like we have talked about, I want you to be visualizing the poem.  Write down some of the things you pictured, or visualized in your mind while reading the poem to yourself. Students who would like to can share what they wrote down. While students are reading silently and writing down what they are visualizing, I will be walking around the room getting an idea of how well students are understanding the concept.


5. Okay, now I want for us to continue on with our book Justin and the Best Biscuits in the World. However, now that we have our new tool, visualizing, we can use it when we read chapter 5 so that we can comprehend the chapter, which will help us read the book fluently. Remember yesterday in chapter 4 Justin and his Grandpa were on their way to his ranch when they stopped at the lake to pick up some fish.  Now in chapter 5, Justin and his Grandpa finally make it to the ranch! We get to find out what the ranch is like, and Justin gets to try to cook again! Now read chapter 5 silently to yourself and really visualize the story to help you comprehend what you are reading.




Once you have finished reading the chapter, I want you to get a piece of paper and crayons and I want you to draw one scene you visualized in the story.  I want for you to do your best work.  I want for your drawings to have a lot of detail so I can really see what you were visualizing.  Once you have finished, I want you to write on the back a title for your scene you drew as well as a couple sentences explaining how you visualized the scene you drew and how it fits in with the rest of the story.  I will grade the assessments using a rubric. When going over the directions, I will pull my rubric up on the projector so that the students will know exactly how I am grading their drawings.

*I am not grading on a good drawing, but I am grading on the details in the drawing that match the story and especially the written description describing the scenes drawn.


Did the student draw a picture?                                                       ___Y___N              

Were the drawings accurate for the poem?                                  ___Y___N           

Were the drawings accurate for assigned reading(s)?               __Y___N            

Were the drawings detailed?                                                              ___Y___N                     

Did the student describe in detail the events?                             ___Y___N 




Nesbitt, Kenn. "My New School". http://www.gigglepoetry.com/poem.aspx?PoemID=487&CategoryID=37

Frasier, Mallie.  Picture Perfect. http://www.auburn.edu/academic/education/reading_genie/realizations/frasierrl.htm

Silverstein, Shel. "The Unicorn". http://faculty.weber.edu/chansen/humanweb/projects/MeghanUng/theunicorn.htm

Walter, Mildred Pitts.  Justin and the Best Biscuits in the World. http://www.amazon.com/Justin-Biscuits-World-Mildred-Walter/dp/0679803467

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