Kelli Preston
Growing Independence and Fluency

Itís Fun to be Fluent!

Rationale:  In order for children to read effectively, reading comprehension must be developed.  One way that helps children to have better comprehension when reading is if they are fluent readers.  Fluent readers can read faster, smoother, and with more expression.  This lesson is designed to help children see the importance of being a fluent reader, and to become a more fluent reader.

Materials: Pencil, Copies of the book A House for Hermit Crab by Eric Carle, fluency check sheets (piece of paper sectioned into four different sections with pictures of the seashore on them), sea shells (to move up and down the fluency sheets), and stopwatches for each group.

Procedures:
· Book Talk about A House for Hermit Crab.  Our friend the hermit crab has grown too big for his shell.  He needs your help to find a new home for himself.  Can he find a new shell that fits him before itís too late?
· Choose a passage that you would normally read with expression, but read it with a monotone voice.  Ask the children if the book would be as interesting if the entire book were read in this manner.  Then model for the children how to read with expression, and explain to them that today we are going to read with expression and we are going to work on reading fast enough to where the text flows, but not to fast to where it is harder to understand (model this for the children by picking a passage and reading it choppy, and then reading that same passage in a fluent manner).
· Have the children get into pairs, and give each pair a copy of A House for Hermit Crab.  (If the children want, they can choose their own book).  Review with the children cross-checking and cover-ups and remind them to use both methods if they are having trouble (crosschecking is reading the sentence again if it didnít make sense the first time it was read.  Cover-ups are where we cover up part of a word to try and better pronounce it).
· Next, pass out the fluency check sheets (one to each pair) and a seashell (one to each pair.
· Give instructions to students that they are going to time their partner reading their favorite passage for 1 minute.  After that they are going to time their partner reading that same passage 2 more times and see if they made any time improvements. Instruct them that if their partner reads faster, reads smoother, or reads with more expression, then they are to move their seashell down the seashore.  After they are done, switch who is timing and who is reading.

 Assessment: each child would read to me their passage after they have practiced with their partner.
As a follow-up, we might do this same activity in groups after children have practiced a passage from another book.

Reference:
www.auburn.edu/rdggenie/illum/ashworthgf.html
www.auburn.edu/rdggenie/illum/kempgf.html
www.auburn.edu/rdggenie/illum/waldengf.html

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For further information, send e-mail to prestke@mail.auburn.edu