“Flying to Fluency”

Growing Independence & Fluency Lesson Plan

Jayme Ebaugh

Rationale: In order for children to be able to read an adequate amount of text in a certain amount of time they need to be able to read fluently and skillfully.  Reading fluency is the ability to recognize words accurately, rapidly, and automatically. Decoding skills make fluency easier, so the students must practice and master phoneme correspondences. When children practice strategies and correspondences in repeated readings, they will become more fluent readers which will lead to more comprehension, greater vocabulary and faster speed. Students gain comprehension skills because they do not have to focus on sounding out the words. The goal of this lesson is to help students develop reading fluency using timed reading. 


Class copies and Teacher copy of decodable book: Pat’s Jam

Individual posters for class with clouds and numbers graphed on it for each child to place kites on to for tracking fluency progress

3 small kites for each student (different colors) with names on them (for their poster)

Stopwatch for each student

Class bulletin board covered in clouds to place each child’s poster onto for display of achievement


1.  “First, we are going to review the strategies we can use when we don’t recognize a word.  If we come to the letters f r o g but cannot read the word, first we look at the vowel sound. In this word, o = /o/. Next, we go to the beginning sound. f = /f/. The next sound is r-r-r like a railroad. If we add the vowel sound we have fff-rrr-ooo. Finally, we look at the last sound. It is g = /g/. Now we can put all four sounds together to read stretching it out: fffrrroooggg. Frog! Great job! Now, when we come to words we don’t know when we are reading, this vowel-first method is a great strategy to use when you can’t figure out the word."

2.   “When we read, we need to make sure that we read smoothly just as if we are talking so that we can understand what we read. I am going to read a sentence to the class without reading smoothly, or what we call fluently: T-o-d-ay  w-e  ar-e  g-o-ing  t-o  p-r-a-c-t-i-ce  r-ea-d-ing  s-m-oo-th-l-y. Is this easy to understand if I were to read a whole book to you like that?   If I read the sentence with fluency, ‘Today we are going to practice reading smoothly,’ it sounds better and makes more sense because the words are said all together and read clearly. The first time I read the sentence each word was broken up into each sound I heard in the word, but the second time I read the sentence it improved because I put all the sounds together to make words to read the sentence all together. Since this is how we all need to read, and want our goal to be able to read fluently, we have to keep practicing.” (Pass out books for each reading group.)

3.   “Each person in your group is going to practice reading through the text three times. Our goal is to read 60 words in one minute. As one of you is reading, the other needs to be timing him or her on the stopwatch and stopping the reader at 60 seconds.  After the 60 seconds is up, go back and count how many words you read in the minute and then write it down.  Do this three times each, and when you are down we are going to use our kites to show how we improved every time we read on a chart. When you are done, raise your hand and I will help you graph your results on your chart.”

4.   “I want everyone to practice as much as you can, because the more you practice, the faster you get, and the more you will be able to read and understand.  You can take the books home and practice your reading with your parents or friends, or do it during DEAR (drop everything and read) time with a friend.  Remember what we practiced today in class when we got stuck on a word while reading, and how to read the sentences smoothly.”

Assessment:  Students may be assessed for fluency by one minute reads.  The students will also use a fluency chart to keep up with their progress by moving their kite on the poster for the highest WPM after three one minute reads.  After a book is read three or four times, a new book should be introduced and one minute reads should be repeated three or four more times.


Bracken, Rebecca. Flying Away with Fluency

Cushman, Shelia. Pat’s Jam. Educational Insights: Carson, CA, 1990.

Click Here to Return to Constructions