Fluency for Halloween!

By Morgane East



Growing in Fluency and Independence Lesson Plan


Rationale: Comprehension is one of the key goals in reading. In order for students to comprehend what they read they need to become fluent readers. Fluent readers recognize words automatically and do not get distracted from the meaning of a text by having to decode words. This lesson is designed to help students become more fluent through repeated reading of a text.



-Happy Halloween, Mittens by Lola M. Schaefer – one for each student

-Cover up critter, popsicle stick used for decoding – one for each student

-Dry erase marker

-White board

-Stop watch – one for each pair of students

-Speed Reading Record sheet – one for each student

-Reading fluency partner check sheet – one for each student





Step 1: (Explain to the class how important it is to be a fluent reader.) Today we’re going to talk about fluency. Fluency is really important when it comes to being excellent readers. I know that all of you can be great readers. To read fluently means to read words quickly and correctly. This makes the stories we read easier to understand. One way we can practice fluency is by reading a story over and over again. I want each of you to set a goal to read faster each time you read the story today.


Step 2: (First, pass out the cover up critters and demonstrate for them what to do if they come across a word that they don’t know while reading.) It’s important to remember that whenever you come to a word that you don’t know while you’re reading, you can use your cover up critter to help you sound it out. I’m going to show you an example. (Write the word bridge on the board. Start by covering all of the letters.) First I am going to uncover the first letter; b says /b/. (Continue to uncover letters.) /r/ /iiii/ dge says /j/. So /b/ /r/ /i/ /j/ (run finger under letters as sounds are pronounced); oh the word is bridge.


Step 3: I want you all to see what a fluent reader looks and sounds like. So I’m going to read a sentence aloud. (Write the sentence “The baby took my keys.” on the board.) First I’m not going to read it fluently. Thheee… baabyyy… took… mmy… keeeys. That is how a non-fluent reader would read that sentence. I’m going to read it two more times to work on my fluency. The baaby… took my…. kkeeeys. The baby… took my… keys. See how every time I read the sentence it gets easier and faster? That is because rereading the sentence helps us to become more fluent readers. Fluent readers read easily and with expression like this: “The baby took my keys.”


Step 4: Pass out the book Happy Halloween, Mittens. (Give book talk.) Mittens is Nick’s cat. Nick is getting ready for Halloween, and Mittens wants to help. When Mittens tries to help Nick paint scary faces, he makes a mess. Nick tells Mittens that he isn’t helping. You will have to read the book to see if Mittens finds a way to help Nick get ready for Halloween. I want you all to read the story one time, and when you are finished we will discuss the story. (Discuss the story.)

-What happens in the story?

-Do you think Mittens we a good helper?

-Why do you think Nick got mad at Mittens?

-What did Mittens end up doing to help out?


Step 5: Then I want you to read it again by yourself.


Step 6: Now, I’m going to pair you with a partner. You will both take turns being the reader and while the other is the recorder. (Explain the Speed- reading record sheet.) The reader will read the book all the way through three times. The recorder is responsible for starting and stopping the timer after the reader if finished; the recorder should then write on a piece of paper how long it took the reader to read the book. After the reader reads three times, the reader and recorder will swap positions.


Step 7: After the each student reads the students will evaluate how their partner performed on the second and third readings using the “Partner Check Sheet” below.

Partner Check Sheet

When I listened to my partner read:

                                                      After 2nd       After 3rd

1. Remembered more words         _______       _______

2. Read faster                                _______       _______

3. Read smoother                          _______       _______

4. Read with expression                _______       _______

Assessment: After they read with their partner, I will have each student come and do a timed reading with me. I will use the “Speed Reading Record” (below) and the “Partner Check Sheet” to assess their fluency.

Speed Reading Record:

Student:_________________________ Date:___________


- After 1st read _______

- After 2nd read _______

- After 3rd read _______




Long, Ali. Reading Fast is a Blast.            http://www.auburn.edu/academic/education/reading_genie/invitations/longgf.htm.


Hood, Laura Lee. Ready, Set, READ.            http://www.auburn.edu/academic/education/reading_genie/sightings/hoodgf.html.


Murray, Bruce. Developing Reading Fluency.            http://www.auburn.edu/academic/education/reading_genie/fluency.html.




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