Go, Read. Go!

Growing Independency and Fluency

Landon McKean




To become fluent readers, children need to learn how to read faster, smoother, and more expressively.  Fluency refers to a student’s ability to read words accurately and automatically.  In this lesson, students will learn how to read quickly, smoothly, and expressively in order to gain fluency.  Students will gain fluency through repeated readings, timed readings, and one-minute reads.  It has been proven that the more students read the more their reading skills will improve.




Stopwatch for each pair of students

Pencil for each student

Copy of the book Go, Dog. Go! for each student

“Traffic light” progress chart for each student

Die cut car for each student

List of comprehension questions for each student

Crayons for each student

Construction paper for each student



 1. “Today we are going to learn how to be a fluent reader by reading words correctly as fast as we can.”  Explain to the students what it means to be a fluent reader and the steps they must take to become a fluent reader.  "The word fluency means having the ability to read words accurately, automatically, and quickly.  Once you become a fluent reader, you will enjoy reading more because you will understand what you are reading."


2. Model for the students how to read with fluency.  “First, I am going to read you a sentence without fluency.”  Write on the board the following sentence:  The dog ran up a hill.  “The d-o-g r-a-n u-p the h-i-ll.  Now I am going to read the sentence as a fluent reader.  The dog ran up the hill.  Did you hear the difference between reading with fluency and reading without fluency?  Listen as I read the sentence once again.  The dog ran up the hill.  This time I read the sentence faster because it was not the first time I had read these words.  The first two times I read the sentence gave me practice and helped me read the sentence fluently the third time.”


3. “The story you will be reading to practice becoming a fluent reader is Go, Dog. Go!  As you read you do not want to skip any words or read them incorrectly but read every word correctly while reading at a fast pace.”  Model reading Go, Do. Go!  aloud as a fluent reader for the students.


4. Remind students to cross check if they do not automatically recognize a word during their reading.  "Do not forget that cross checking is a tool that fluent readers use to make sense of the sentences that they read and to read more successfully.  If you do not automatically recognize a word cover-up part of the word to make it easier to sound out.  Once you have determined the pronunciation of the word, go back and reread the sentence to see if the word makes sense in the sentence.  If the word does not make sense in the sentence, you can change your guess to a word that fits the sentence.  If you and your partner cannot figure out how to pronounce a word correctly, come ask me and I will help you figure it out.”


5. “Now that you have heard me read the book as a fluent reader, you are going to practice reading fluently with a partner.”  Divide the students up into groups of two and give each student a copy of the book.  “Once you are seated next to your partner, pick out your six favorite pages in the book that you will read to each other.” 


6. “To keep record of our progress in becoming a fluent reader, each of you will have your own “traffic light” progress chart.”  Give each student a “traffic light” progress chart and a die cut car.  The “traffic light” progress chart is simply a piece of construction paper with a big traffic light containing a red, yellow, and green light on it.  Also, give each pair of students a stopwatch.  Explain to the students how to use the progress chart.  “The goal of this activity is to see how fast you can read the pages you have chosen in order to move your car from the red light to the green light on the chart.  You will each take turns reading the six pages to your partner.  While you read, your partner will use the stopwatch to keep the time.  After you have read the six pages you will stop and write down your time on a piece of paper and place the car on the red light.  Then you will read the same pages again and if your time has improved, you will move the car to the yellow light and so on.  The car only moves if you increase your speed.  You will continue reading the six pages until your car reaches the green light and you can “go!”  The students should take turns reading to one another.


7. Observe the students participation in the repeated readings by walking around the classroom and listening to their fluency develop with each repeated reading.  


8. After each student has read their favorite pages enough times to reach the green light on the “traffic light” progress chart, the students will respond to questions to check for understanding and comprehension.  

 Comprehension questions:

1. What size dogs are in the book? 

2. What color are the dogs in the book? 

3. Where are the dogs going? 

4. What hat did the dog like at the end of the book?


9. Pass out a piece of construction paper, box of crayons, and a pencil to each student.  “Now everyone is going to draw and color a picture of their favorite dog in the book.  Underneath your picture write a sentence explaining what your dog is doing in the picture.  We will display each of your pictures and sentences on our reading bulletin board!”


10. “As you draw and color your picture, I am going to call you up to my desk one at a time so that you can prove to me how smoothly and quickly you can read your favorite pages in the book Go, Dog. Go!


11. In order to assess each student’s reading fluency, let them individually complete a one-minute read by rereading a few pages from Go, Dog. Go! aloud to the teacher.  A one-minute read is a fluency checking activity in which a student reads aloud to the teacher for one minute which is timed by a stopwatch.  The teacher has a progress chart for each student.  It is the students’ goal to move from the beginning point on the progress chart up to the ending point on the progress chart.  If the student reads more fluently, the object will move up the progress chart. While the student is reading the book, note reading miscues.  Also collect each student’s “traffic light” progress chart to assess how quickly the student read six pages with his or her partner.


12. After each student has completed a one-minute read with the teacher, review the meaning of a fluent reader with the class and give the students their homework assignment.  “Today we have learned how to become a fluent reader.  At home tonight I want you to reread Go, Dog. Go! to a parent or older sibling so that they can enjoy the book while you show them how to read fluently.”



Internet Site:  Holly Kubik.  Ready…Set…Let’s Read. http://www.auburn.edu/rdggenie/explor/kubikgf.html

Internet Site:  Angela Atkins.  How Fast Can You Read?  http://www.auburn.edu/rdggenie/discov/atkinsgf.html

Book:  Eastman, P.D.  Go, Dog. Go!  Random House Publishers, 1961.

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