I’m Nuts About Reading!

                               Fluency Lesson Design


                                      Coley Duke


1.  RATIONALE: For beginning readers, fluency does not come easily.  Instead, children initially sound choppy, having to read with much effort.  As a result, beginning readers may often not be able to recall what they have just read, the text being so disconnected.  But, fluency is one of the paths that leads readers to become accurate and automatic towards comprehension.  By helping children make their reading sound like speech, they can more easily connect the text, and be on the road to becoming skilled readers.



-1 copy of Bo and the Rose (Educational Insights) per student

-a one-minute read chart to graph the students progress (I will be using a squirrel getting closer to a bunch of nuts)

-check sheet for fluency and expression for each student (for their reading partner activity) (attached at the end of lesson)



Explain why, review, explain how:  Explain to the students that good readers read fluently, which is another word that means smoothly.  To become a good reader, we really have to practice reading and try to read with expression.  Also, we want our words to flow nicely so that they sound like a sentence as if someone was talking.  We have been using good methods to help us with our reading, such as cover-ups

(helping us figure out a word) and cross checks (rereading the sentence to make sure it makes sense), but the best readers do not need to do that.  Instead, they can read fluently, or smoothly, making the words sound like a smooth sentence.  Also, fluency, or smooth reading, makes people faster readers!

Model:  I want to give you an example of what I am talking about.  ( I open my copy of Bo and the Rose).  I am going to read this sentence in two different ways, I want you to tell me which sentence sounds better.  Wait until I have read both sentences, then raise your hand if you want to share your opinion.  Okay, let me open up my book… (read the first sentence slowly and blend aloud)-“H-e  b-i-t-e-s the r-o-p-e.”  (Say the next one fluently)- “He bites the rope.”  Now call on a student who is raising their hand.  Good.  The second sentence did sound better.  And why is that?  Right, because it was said smoothly.  It sounded like I was talking and not reading, didn’t it!?  That is what I want for each of you to accomplish, and we are going to start today!  Are we on the road to becoming fluent readers?  Yes!

Simple Practice:  First practice reading a sentence on the board: “Rose has a goat named Bo.” (Read together aloud 3 times. )  then say, “ Notice how by the thirs time, the class sounds more fluent, or says the sentence smoother?!” Explain to the children that today we will be reading a book called Bo and the Rose.  Give a quick book talk- “I’ll bet that some of you have a dog or another animal at home that you love very much.  Well, Rose, the little girl in this story, does and her pet is a goat names Bo.  Bo loves Rose, but does NOT like being tied up.  So, he chews his way out of the rope, but something awful could happen (like if your dog got out).  I wonder if Bo will be okay or if rose will have to get a new goat?  Let’s read to find out!”

Whole Text:  Distribute a copy of the text to each student.  Say, “I want each of you to do silent reading for a few minutes until I say stop.  If oyu finish the book, just reread it.  I don’t want to see any eyes away from your book! Okay, get ready, set, and go!”  Discuss the story when all have read it.  Then, divide the class into partners and have them fill out their fluency chart for their partner, listening to one another read.  Have them raise sit quietly when they are finished to let you know they are done.

Assessment:  I will assess my students by doing a one-minute read with each of them.  Individually they will read a passage for one minute, and I will record each students time and chart it on a graph for the student to see (the squirrel getting closer to the bunch of nuts).  We will reread two more times, and each time I will encourage them to get the squirrel closer to the nuts.  While I am individually assessing the students, the other student will be reading a familiar book (the one they read in class the day before).  If they finish that, then they may choose a book from our class library for their pleasure reading.  But, absolutely no talking!

(words times 60/ seconds)



Bo and the Rose.  Educational Insights: Carson, CA. 1990.

Adams, Marilyn Jager.  Beginning to Read: Thinking and Learning about Print.  Illinois:  

            Center for the study of reading.  1990.

Short, Becky.  Gaining Fluency:  Speedy Reading.  http://www.auburn.edu/rdggenie/guides/shortgf.html

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