Jennifer Pegues

Growing Independence and Fluency


Dive Into Reading


Rationale:  Fluent reading is an important step to becoming a successful reader.  Fluent readers are able to read smoothly and quickly.  When children are able to read fluently, they can focus more on the content of a story instead of decoding each word slowly. 


Materials:  Henry and Mudge and the Forever Sea by Cynthia Rylant, die cut lobsters, stopwatches, chart of beach for each child with various pieces of Velcro placed on them



  1. Explain to children that they have become great readers and that now we are going to work on reading so that it flows better when we read aloud.  Read a sample sentence to the children.  “Boys are girls, I am going to read to you a sentence in two different ways.  After I get through, I want you to tell me which one sounds better.  Muuddgge hhhaadd nneeevvveeerrr bbbbeeennn tooo the bbeeeach.  Mudge had never been to the beach.  Now which one sounds better?  That’s right, the second one sounds better.  Can someone tell me why that is?  That’s right, because it was faster and smoother.” 
  2. “Today we are going to work on reading so that it sounds more like we are talking.  Do we talk slow or do we talk a little fast?  That’s right, we talk somewhat fast.  We are going to need to keep track of how fast we can read a passage and to do this, I am going to give each of you a chart of the beach and a lobster.”  Pass out the stopwatches, charts and lobsters to each student.
  3. “I want everyone to place their lobster on the first piece of Velcro.  We are going to find a partner and practice reading the first story in our book about Henry and Mudge, “To the Beach”.  Time your partner for one minute when he/she is reading.  After a minute is up, count the number of words that he/she has read in the minute.  Write this number on the first line under your piece of Velcro.  This is your starting point.  Now I want you to add ten to this number and write it on the next line.  Continue adding ten until all the lines are filled in with a number.  Every day, we are going to work on reading more words in a minute.  When you increase the number of words, you will be able to move your lobster.
  4. Allow the students to begin reading.  Instruct the students to continue reading their books until their lobster has reached the water.
  5. For assessment, call each child to your desk and have them read their favorite part of the story to you as you time them for one minute.  This will ensure that you, as the teacher, knows exactly how fluent the child is. 
  6. After the children have finished this book, ask them to pick their own book from the library and create a chart on their own to do the same thing.  This will help them continue to be fluent in their reading. 



Oglesby, Kara.  Ribbit, Ribbit: Leap into Speedy Reading.

 Stewart, Christi.  Ready, Set, Read!

For more information, send an e-mail to Jennifer Pegues

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