Please Read Politely!

Growing Fluency

Nell Fleming



In order for students to become fluent, independent readers, it is important for them to master the concept of reading silently. Silent reading increases reading comprehension as the students practice advanced decoding skills. It also reinforces reader motivation as the reader learns to associate the silent reading time as a positive, enjoyable experience. This lesson will provide students with practice reading silently by allowing them to read and reread decodable text until they achieve this.



Class set of the book Polly’s Shop by B. Grout, Modern Curriculum Press, 1996.

Chart with the sentence “Her cat ran in the den.” and “I like to kick the ball with him.”

Silent Reading checklist for each student (see format below)



Explain to students the importance of reading silently. Now that we have become such good readers out loud, we are going to learn how to read silently to ourselves. You can call this “reading in-loud” instead of “out-loud”. This is an important skill to learn since it is not always polite or appropriate to read every word out loud.

with students the strategy of using cover-ups to decode words. Show the words cash on the board. Cover up all but the vowel and read the sound /a/. Then uncover the first letter to read /ca/. Last, uncover the last two letters to read cash.

Explain how
students can use silent reading. Who can tell me what the number one rule in the public library is? That’s right – to be quiet! If you want to go to the library to read books, would you be able to read out loud so that everyone could hear you? No! You would have to read the book to yourself. The same would be the case if you wanted to read in our class after you have finished an activity but while others are trying to finish. Today, we are going to learn how to be polite readers who can read silently to themselves by practicing re-reading text until we reach that level.

to students how to read the sentence “Her cat ran into the den.” First, I will read this sentence out loud. “Her cat rrr…” I don’t know what this word is, so I will use cover-ups to read it. Model how to read “ran” with cover-ups and read the rest of the sentence. “Her cat ran in the den.” Now I will try reading this in a softer voice. (Read sentence). Now I will read this sentence in a whisper (Read sentence). Now I will read this sentence just moving my lips. (Read sentence). Now here’s the last step. I can read this sentence “in-loud” or silently. Also, it is important for me to think about if I understand what I have just read in my head. What did the cat do? He ran in the den.

Simple practice
will involve the students reading another sentence on the board (I like to kick the ball with him). As a class, follow the same steps used above in modeling to read this sentence (out loud, in a softer voice, in a whisper, moving their lips, and finally silently).

Whole texts
used will be Polly’s Shop. Provide each student with a copy. Have students try reading the book silently. If they have trouble, instruct them to use the method taught above to try to achieve silent reading.

will be in the form of a checklist. Make observations of each student while they read and mark the following.

___Reads aloud

___Reads in a whisper

___Reads while moving lips

___Reads silently

Answer 3 questions for reading comprehension:

1. Whose shop is the book about? (Polly’s)

2. What is the problem in Polly’s shop? (All of the items are mixed together)

3. What did the boy and his dad want to buy? (a rug)



Grout, B. Polly’s Shop. Modern Curriculum Press: Parsippany, NJ. (1996)

Schaum, Susan. “Now you hear me, now you don’t!”

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