Amber DeBlanc
Fluency Lesson Design


Up, Up, Up Goes the Sub! 

Rationale:  It is important that students must learn to become more fluent readers in order to increase their comprehension skills. Fluency refers to a student's ability to read words accurately and automatically. In this lesson, students will learn how to read quickly, smoothly, and expressively in order to gain fluency. To gain fluency students will take part in repeated readings, timed readings, and one-minute reads. 


Copy of Bud and the Sub for each student

Teacher copy of Bud and the Sub

Stop watches for each student

Pencil for each student

Dry erase board and marker

Up, Up, Up Goes the Sub progress chart for each student (this will be a long board with a detachable submarine that the students can move up as they progress with fluency).


            Today we are going to talk about reading more fluently.  Reading with fluency means to read words accurately, automatically, and quickly.  When we read fluently we don’t have to stop to sound out each word. Once you become a fluent reader, you will enjoy reading more because you will understand what you are reading.  One way we can learn to read more fluently is by reading a text more than once.  When you read a text more than once, you become more familiar with the words and begin to read faster.  Today we will practice reading a text several times to become more fluent readers.

            Model for the students how to read fluently.  Write on the dry erase board: “Bud the sub swims to the tug.  Tell the students:  I am going to read this sentence without fluency.  Let me show you how it sounds to read without fluency.  Bb-uuud the ssssu-b sw-swi-swims to the ttt-uug.  Now let me show you how it sounds to read the sentence fluently.  Bud the sub swims to the tug.  Do you see how much better that sentence sounds when we read it with fluency?  Listen to me read the sentence one more time.  Bud the sub swims to the tug.  This time I will read it even faster because I have already read it twice. Remember, when we read a text more than once we can read it faster because we become more familiar with it.

            We are going to use the book Bud the Sub to practice reading with fluency.   Remind students to cross-check or cover up if they do not automatically recognize a word during their reading.  Don’t forget that cross-checking is a way that fluent readers use to make sense of the sentences that they read and to read more successfully.  If you do not recognize a word you can use your cover-up critter to cover-up part of the word to make it easier to sound out.  Once you can read the word don’t forget to go back and reread the sentence to see if the word makes sense in the sentence.  If the word does not make sense in the sentence, you can change your guess to a word that fits the sentence.  If you and your partner cannot figure out how to pronounce a word correctly, come ask me and I will help you figure it out."  Let me show you how a fluent reader would read Bud and the Sub.  Model reading Bud the Sub aloud as a fluent reader for the students.  Give booktalk:  Bud is a sub.  One day Bud is swimming along and sees a tug boat hit an ice berg.  The tug begins to sink.  Can Bud save the tug?  We have to read to find out.

            Now that you know what it sounds like when a fluent reader reads Bud the Sub, you can practice reading the book with your book buddy.  Teacher will divide students into partners.  You each have a copy of Bud the Sub and a stopwatch.  I want you to take turns reading the book.  One buddy will read and one buddy will time the other with a stop watch.  I want you to stop the timer when one minute is up and mark the word where you stopped with your pencils.  Then I want you to switch places with your partner so you both have a turn to read and time.  Remember that you shouldn’t skip any words.  Try to cross checking or cover-up to figure out a word you don’t know.  I want you each to read Bud the Sub three times.  After you read I want you to count the number of words you read and move Bud the Sub on your Up, up, up goes the sub progress chart.  You can start reading now.  Teacher will walk around the room to assist where needed.


To assess, I will ask each student to my desk and bring their Up, up, up goes the sub progress chart.  I will have the student do a one-minute reading of Bud and the Sub and monitor fluency by noting how they read: smoothly, quickly, stopped rarely, choppy, omits or inserts words, etc.  I will also note miscues.  Then, at the end I will ask comprehension questions from Bud the Sub (See Questions Below.) 

1. What is Bud?

2. What is Tug?

3. What happened to Tug?

4.  How did Bud help Tug?


Landon McKean, Go, Read. Go!,

Katie Lincoln, Buzz, Buzz, Buzz!,

   Sheila Cushman, 1990. Bud the Sub.  Carson, CA (USA): Educational Insights.


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