Flying with Fluency


 Growing Independence and Fluency
 Kelley Styles

Rational:         For students to increase their literacy and to gain a better understanding of how to read with more fluency.  Children need to learn to read with enthusiasm and expression.  As students become more automatic decoders, they need to learn how to make stories more interesting with their voices, intonation and speed, while telling the story at a rapid yet smooth pace.

Materials:        Fluency check sheet with spaces for speed, volume and suggestions, pencils, and multiple copies of  The Giving Tree by Shel Silverstein.

                           1.  Introduce the lesson by explaining to students that there are may ways that we all can become better readers by increasing our fluency.  Ask them "What is fluency?" and "What are some characteristics of a good reader?"  When you hear a good reader that makes you feel that you are in the story, what do they do?  Someone that grabs your attention while reading a story usually reads with expression, varies their voice to match characters, and is able to adjust their speed and volume to compliment the story.  To be able to accomplish all of these characteristics you must reread text so that you are very comfortable and familiar with it.

                           2.  "Have you ever heard someone read or tell a story and you were so interested that you did not want to miss a single word?"  To become a reader like I have just described, you must read with expression.  "What is expression?"  If a reader has to repeat words and stumbles over the text because they are not familiar with it - would you enjoy it?  No, it would not be as enticing as a reader that dances gracefully across the text.  Today we are going to learn how to read with expression, speed, intonation, and grace.

                           3.  First I am going to read The Giving Tree a few pages without expression.  When I am finished, I want you to tell me why or why not you liked the story.  Think about what I could do to make the story more interesting. (Read the book and discuss what could be changed).  Now I am going to read the book with expression (read the book).  Ask did you enjoy the book more this time?  Why?  Is it easier to "get into" a book if the reader is enthusiastic and reads with expression?

                           4.  Group students in pairs and pass out copies of The Giving Tree.  Now have them read to each other using appropriate expression, speed, intonation, and volume.  Each student will use the fluency check sheet to monitor the student reading. After they have completed your sheet, they will compliment some of your achievements.

For assessment:    The teacher will review the fluency check sheet, meet with each student making a new check sheet.  After reading the student and teacher will discuss improvements and compliment the student on what he or she does well.


Adams, Marilyn.  (1990).  Beginning to Read: Thinking and Learning about Print.   Reading Research and Education Center: Illinois.  Pages 21,46, and 88-94.

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