Julie Dunn
April 2, 2001

                                                         Silence is a Virtue

Rationale: To increase reading speed and comprehension, students must learn to read silently.  Students must learn to read  without saying the words out loud.  In this lesson students will learn the techniques they need to take in order to read silently.  They will read decodable books of their choice. Students will also be asked to cross check to make sure that they are comprehending as they are reading silently.

Materials: enough copies of Kite Day at Pine Lake for the entire class, cross checking worksheet- sentences that need to be corrected because of misspelled words and sentences that do not make sense, bookshelf full of decodable

1. ãBoys and girls, who can tell me why we read books? Yes thatâs right·we read books to learn and find out information about certain things.  In this classroom we like to read aloud donât we? Well sometimes it is important to read silently too. For instance if each of us was to read aloud at the same time, we all would get really distracted and forget what we were reading about. Lets all try that. Open up the book Kite Day at Pine Lake.  Letâs all read the first two sentences together.ä Read sentences with children to demonstrate the point.  ãSo today we are going to do some silent reading. Silent reading is important especially in the classroom because when we read to ourselves our neighbor can not interrupt us, we can read at our own pace, and we can just enjoy the book we are reading.ä
2.  ãI want you all to watch as I read from our book (Kite Day at Pine Lake). First I am going to whisper as I read these first sentences. Now I am going to read these sentences again, but watch very closely as I move my lips but I am not going to be saying the words. (read sentences again)  This time I am going to read the words silently in my head.
3. Sometimes when we are reading we come across a word that we do not know. First try cover ups and see if you can blend the word together or at least get close to the correct pronunciation. Then read the rest of the sentence to make sure that what you read made sense. It is very important to understand what you are reading not just to read to get through your book! I am going to show you how I use this cross checking strategy. ÎThe k/I/ds make a kit for Bob.â Now wait a second that sentence doesnât make sense. I am going to have to reread that sentence to understand what is happening in my book. ÎThe kids make a kite for Bob.â Now that sounds much better! Now I know exactly what is happening in my book.ä
4. ãNow I am going to pass out a worksheet so that you can practice your crosschecking before we start reading our actual books.ä Go over answers after all the students have completed their worksheet so that they know the correct answers.
5. ãNow that we are pros at crosschecking we are going to practice reading silently. Remember the steps that I showed you all earlier-whispering, moving lips, silent reading. I would like for each of you to pick a book that you would like to read from our bookshelf. I would like for everyone to read silently, remember this is not too see who can finish their book first but about reading to make sure that we are understanding.

After students have read their books I will ask them to tell me what they have just read to make sure that they have understood and comprehended. I will then ask them some questions that will pertain to their book to see if they remembered what happened.


  Wilson, P. (1992) Among Nonreaders: Voluntary Reading, Reading Achievement, and the Development of Reading Habits. In C. Temple and P. Collins (Eds), Stories and Readers: New Perspectives on literature in the elementary classroom (157-169). Norwood, MA:Christopher Gordon.

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