Shh! My Lips Are Sealed


Growing Independency and Fluency


By Holly Johnson



Learning to read silently is an important step to learning to be a fluent reader. It is an important strategy that children must learn.  Children must be able to extract meaning from the text that they read in a seemingly effortless manner.  Learning to do this helps children obtain the desire to read on their own.  Silent reading is a necessary component in this process. Through this lesson, students will be lead through a process that ends in silently reading.



A copy of Amelia Bedilia  for each student.

One copy of Polly's Shop.



1. Say: "Have you ever been to the library and seen the 'Please Be Quiet' sign?  Do you ever wonder how all the people are reading without making a sound?  This is called silent reading.  Silent reading is when you read a book to yourself without making a sound and eventually without even moving your lips!  Today we are going to practice reading silently.  By practicing reading this way, you will all become better readers! When you read a book to yourself, silently, you are able to focus more on what you are reading, and you are not bothering anyone else!  It is a lot of fun! Let's learn about silent reading!"


2. Explain crosschecking to students. "Sometimes when you are reading out loud, you may misread a word and someone might hear you and correct you.  Well, when you are silently reading, there is no one to correct you so you have to cross check for yourself. We call this cross- checking. Watch me as I show you how to cross check." Write the sentence "I want to eat a ham sandwich for lunch". I am going to read this sentence aloud. "I want to eat a sandwich a hand sandwich for lunch." Now, that sentence didn't make sense to me.  Did it make sense to you?  I am going to go back and reread the sentence to see if I misread a word. "I want to eat a hand, no ham sandwich, for lunch today. I want to eat a ham sandwicvh for lunch today. There that makes more sense to me. Doesn't it to you? This is why cross checking is really important because if what we read does not make sense to us, we will not understand the book that we are reading.  It is important to remember to cross check if you come across a sentence that doesn't make too much sense.


3. Next model silent reading for students. Hand out the book Amelia Bedilia to each student. Say: Now I am going to show you how we are going to work to becoming silent readers. Listen to me reads the first page aloud. Now let's do it together. Everyone read the first page out loud. Great! You guys sounded good but it was so noisy! Lets try and be a little quieter. Listen to me first as I whisper read page 2 in our book. Now I want you all to read page 2 in a whisper. Great job! That sounded so much better but if we want to become silent readers we have to be a little quieter. Watch me read the next page while only moving my lips. Lets see if you can do that. I want everyone to read page 3 moving only their lips. Great job! That sounded so good! It was very quiet. Now our last step is reading completely silent without moving our lips. While you do this you need to make sure that you are still understanding what the book is telling you. Allow them to silent read one page.


4. Say: Now I am going to give you all a chance to read silently to yourselves. Everyone go back to page one and begin to read silently to yourself. Remember I shouldn't be able to hear you read. If a sentence doesn't make sense to you, remember to crosscheck and see if you are misreading a word.

5. For assessment I will have each student come up and read the text Polly's shop silently. Then I will ask them three questions to make sure they are comprehended what they are reading.

1. Whose shop is the book about? (Polly's)
2. What is the problem in Polly's shop? (All of the items are mixed together)

 3. What did the boy and his dad want to buy? (a rug)



Gina Reynolds, You Cant Hear Me!

Rachael Elliott SSHHH·Someone is Listening

Return to the Awakenings index