Let's Go Fly a Kite for Fluency

Growing Independence and Fluency Reading Design

Erika Gam

Rational: Reading fluently is crucial to becoming an expert reader.  Fluency is the ability to rapidly, automatically, and accurately identify words.    Three main goals to reaching fluent reading is the ability to read faster, smoother, and expressively.  Repeated reading is an effective way to reach fluency; it gives students extra practice with words they have already decoded. Working with partners allows students to learn new decoding skills, as well as giving them more practice reading.  




1 copy of Kite Day at Pine Lake (Educational Insights) for each pair of students

Stop watch for each pair of students

1 Speed Record Sheet for each student

 Fluency Literacy Rubric for each student

Yard stick to model cover up method on the board

Speed Record Sheet



1st time:______

2nd time:______

3rd time:______


Fluency Literacy Rubric

Name:____________         Evaluator:___________Date:___________

I noticed that my partner . . . (color in the circle)

After 2nd  reading                       After 3rd reading

O                                                   O                       

  Remembered more words

O                                                   O                      

   Read faster

O                                                   O                     

    Read smoother

O                                                   O                      

   Read with expression




1. The next step to becoming an expert reader is to work on our fluency. Keys to fluent reading are reading with a lot of expression, reading smoothly, and reading quickly. When a person reads with expression they put a whole lot of feeling and emotion in their voices and make what they read more exciting.  When a person reads smoothly, they don't hit many bumps as they read.  When a person reads rapidly, they read really fast.

2. Today we're going to improve our fluency by reading the same text several times, and our reading will be a lot more fun and exciting. One thing I want us all to remember is that fluent readers do not always know every word. They either read to the end of the sentence or use a silent cover-up method when they are stuck on a word. (Model this concept for the students if necessary).     

3. (Write these two sentences on the board:

It is kite day at Pine Lake. Can you fly a kite?

Read the sentence influently.) 

 I-I-t  i-i-s  k-i-i-te  d-a-ay  a-a-t  P-i-i-ne  L-a-a-ke.  C-a-a-n  y-o-ou  f-f-l-y  a-a  k-i-i-te? (You could also model the cover up method with a yard stick to sound out some words. )

4.  (Read the sentence expressively, smoothly, and, and rapidly.) Could you tell a difference between the first time I read these sentences and the second time? (Pause).  Was one of them harder to understand? (Pause).  The second time I read the sentence was a lot easier to understand because I read it quickly and smoothly, and with a lot of expression.

5. Now we're going to read a book called Kite Day at Pine Lake. Have any of you ever flown a kite before? Great!  I bet you'll really enjoy this story then.  This is a story about a group of children that enjoy flying kites at the lake. They have kites of all shapes, sizes, and colors. But one little boy named Bob is sad because he doesn't have a kite. I wonder what will happen?  Do you think the kids will make Bob a kite? To find out more, we will have to read the rest of the story.

6.  (Provide every student a copy of the book.) Now I'm going to read the story out loud the first time, but I want you to follow along so that you can see all the words, and that'll make it easier for you to read more fluently the next time. (Continue).

7. (Split the students into partners. Make sure each partner pair has a copy of the book Kite Day at Pine Lake and a stopwatch. Give each student a Speed Record Sheet and a Fluency Literacy Rubric.)

8. Now, you and your partner are going to work together.  One partner will be the reader and the other partner will be the recorder. After the first partner has read, you will switch roles.  Okay, partner 1, open the book to the first page.  Once partner 2 starts the stopwatch and tells you to begin, you will read for one minute. Partner 2, once your stopwatch says 1 minute, say stop out loud and count the number of words that were read in 1 minute.

9. Partner 2, you will  write down the number of words on the Speed Record Sheet in the first blank. Then y'all will switch roles and repeat the same steps. Remember, we're working on fluency, so the partner who is reading should try to be accurate and sound out the words he or she does not know. Speed and accuracy are very important factors on the first round.

10. You'll notice that there are places on the Speed Record Sheet for three different readings.  So you'll get three tries, and we're going to do our very best and try to improve and read more words each time. After both partners finish the first round, you'll repeat the same steps two more times.  You can always ask me if you get confused.

11. I know this is a lot of steps, so I'm going to get a volunteer to help me model what we'll be doing today.  (Choose a volunteer. Model steps briefly).

12. (After the partners have each finished the first round, have them start at the beginning and read for one minute repeating the same steps from the first round. Make sure to remind the students to record the number of words read each time. The number of words read in one minute should have increased.  Speed, accuracy, and comprehension are important on the second round.  Also remind the students to fill out the Fluency Literacy Rubric by coloring in the circles on how they thought their partner read on the second reading.)

13. ( After the partners have finished filling out the Speed Record Sheet and coloring in the circles on the Fluency Literacy Rubric for how they thought their partner read, ask them to talk about the results with each other. Model these questions for the students). Now I want you to talk with your partners about how well you did.  Here are some questions you might want to ask your partner: For each round, did you improve on the words a minute you read?  Did you remember more words? Read faster? Read more smoothly?  Read with more expression?  

14. (Continue discussion as a group. Point out what rereading can do.  Explain to them that rereading makes you a faster reader, it helps you read more expressively, and it helps you read more accurately.   The more you read the more fluent you will become, and the easier it is to understand what you are reading, which is the main goal of reading.)

15. Assess the students by having them individually come up to the teacher's desk and read the book Kite Day at Pine Lake for one minute. Record each student's time and chart his or her time on a graph.  As you test each student have the other students finish reading Kite Day at Pine Lake at their seats.


Davis, Tommy. "Flying Faster and Further with Fluency!" http://www.auburn.edu/academic/education/reading_genie/realizations/davistgf.htm

Cushman, Sheila and Rona Kornblum. Kite Day at Pine Lake. Carson, Educational Insights, Inc. 1990.

The Reading Genie "Developing Reading Fluency" http://www.auburn.edu/~murraba/fluency.html.

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