Sally Went to the Market

Growing Independence and Fluency

Alex Kingsford


Rationale: In order for children to be able to read at a steadier pace, the children need to be able to read more skillfully and fluently. In order to do this, children need practice reading the same books over and over again. Fluent readers eventually learn to recognize words accurately, rapidly, and automatically. Gaining fluency helps readers comprehend texts. The goal of this lesson is to help students with their reading fluency skills.




White board

Dry Erase markers

Print out of sentences

Print out of stories

Stop Watch




1)     Introduction: "It is so important that we become fluent readers! Fluent readers can recognize words correctly and at a rapid pace. We will be reading a book today and we will be practicing using our cover-ups."


2)     I will first model how to use the cover-ups for the students. "We can use cover-ups to help us figure out which words we do not know. Let's see if we can use our cover-up to figure out the word 'snake'." Write the word snake on the board. "Now watch what I do." Cover up the letter S and the letter N with the cover-up. "I am going to cover up the S and the N, which leaves us with a_e, which we know says /A/. Next I am going to sound out the letters that come before the vowels." Reveal the S and the N to the children. Sound out the S and the N to the children and then blend the two phonemes together. "So now we have /sna/. (emphasize each phoneme when sounding it out with the children.) Now we will look at the phoneme that comes next. k = /k/ is the next phoneme." Blend the phonemes together for the children. "/sna/ and /k/. So, The word is snake. We can use our cover-up method to help us with words that are tricky. Next time you come across a word that does not look familiar to you, try using your cover-up."


3)     "To help us with our reading fluency we can re-read words to become familiar with them. I am going to read this sentence three times and I want you to tell me which one sounds better." Write 'Sally went to the market yesterday.' The first time I will say "Sssss-aaaaa-lllll-yyyy, Sally, www-eee-nnn-ttt, went, to, the, mmm-aaa-rrr-kkk-eee-ttt, market, yyy-eee-sss-ttt-eee-rrr-ddd-aaa-yyy, yesterday. This was not an easy sentence for me to read. Maybe if I re-read the sentence some of the words will be easier for me to read next time. The second time I will say "Sa-lly we-nt to the mar-ket yes-ter-day. The third time I will say, "Sally went to the market yesterday." This sentence was easier for me to read, which sentence sounded better? The third sentence sounds the best! Re-reading sentences can help me learn unfamiliar words and it can also help me with my reading fluency."


4)     "Next, we are going to join up with our partners (the person sitting next to them). I am going to give you a few sentences and I want you to practice re-reading the sentences to gain reading fluency skills. You are going to read the sentences to yourself first. You can read the sentence as many times as you need to understand the words. After you have finished reading the sentences by yourself, I want you to read the sentence aloud with your partner." Give the students a list of sentences. I will be walking around the room in case there are any questions or concerns from the children. I will also be checking to see if the students are improving in their reading fluency skills.


5)     "Next, we are going to be doing timed readings. Timed readings will help us recognize words that we will need to re-read in the future to gain better fluency skills. With the same partner, you are going to take turns reading the page and timing the reader. The reader will read the page (it doesn't have to be aloud) and the timer will time them on how long it takes them to read it. When the reader is finished the timer will mark the time it took to read it . We will be doing this two times. Be sure to mark the last word read each time the reader reads. After the two reads are completed, switch partners and the timer will become the reader and the reader will become the timer." I will give the students a booktalk before they begin reading: "It is a very windy day! Tommy is the main character and he becomes fascinated with the leaves blowing around outside. A maple leaf begins to speak to Tommy and tells Tommy to follow him. We are going to have to read the rest of the story to find out what happens to Tommy and the leaf."


6)     Assessment: After all of the students have read the passage two times, I will have the students read for one minute with me. As the student is reading I will be marking mistakes and corrected mistakes to tell if the student is working on his or her reading fluency skills.


7)     Resources:


Developing Reading Fluency: Reading Genie Website


Krath, Mike. High and Lifted Up.


Lindsay Jones. Practicing Fluency with Miss French.



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