Let your Reading Flow Like Rain
by Susie R. Rogers
Growing Independence and Fluency Plan
Rationale: In order for children to be able to read a sufficient amount of material 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. The goal of this lesson is to help students develop reading fluency using repeated reading; the end result will be reading fluency that is expressive and flows like rainfall.
Materials: Dry erase board, marker, copies of Rain by Shel Silverstein for each student.
1. I will start the lesson off by stressing the importance of reading with ease and skill. "It is very important for you to learn how to read smoothly, because fluent readers can understand what the book is saying better. Today we will be practicing techniques that will help us read faster and with more expression. We will be reading a poem called Rain by Shel Silverstein, and then we will each have a chance to memorize and perform it. We will learn that rereading a text will increase our speed and accuracy." Remind students that fluent readers do not always know every word, so they should read to the end of the sentence and use cover-ups to help them lesson off by stressing the importance of reading with ease and skill.
2. Read Rain by Shel Silverstein to the class with much expression. Give them their own copy [which can be added to their collection of classroom poems] and tell them to follow along to become more familiar with any new words:
I opened my eyes
And looked up at the rain,
And it dripped in my head
And flowed into my brain,
And all that I hear as I lie in my bed
Is the slishity-slosh of the rain in my head.
I step very softly,
I walk very slow,
I can't do a handstand--
I might overflow,
So pardon the wild crazy thing I just said--
I'm just not the same since there's rain in my head.
2. Write the first stanza on the board: I opened my eyes / And looked up at the rain, / And it dripped in my head / And flowed into my brain, / And all that I hear as I lie in my bed / Is the slishity-slosh of the rain in my head.
Read it slowly to the students, and tell them how you might not read all the words correctly on the first try. "I ooopened my eeeyes and looked up at the ran, I mean rain, and it dropped, um dripped, on, in, my head and flows, er flowed into by brain, and all that I hear as I lay, oops lie, in my bed is the slish, ity [covering up half of the word] slishity-slosh of the rrrain in my head." Sound out the words slowly and model how you might make mistakes with the first reading. Use the silent cover-up method to chunk difficult words. Read the sentence a second time more smoothly. Ask the students which one they liked better.
3. Write the second stanza on the board: I step very softly, / I walk very slow, / I can't do a handstand-- / I might overflow, / So pardon the wild crazy thing I just said-- / I'm just not the same since there's rain in my head.
Divide the students into pairs and have them practice reading the stanza to one another until they can read it smoothly. Remind them that they should be able to read quicker and with more expression each time they read the stanza aloud. When they finish, ask them which time they read more smoothly, the first or the last time? Then say, "This is why we have to practice our reading: to become good at it! Isn't it more fun to reread the section and really know what it's saying?"
5. Split the students into groups of four. Assign each person a different section of the poem. Have them practice reading the whole poem to one another to become familiar with the text. After they have read it twice, let the next partner read twice. They can do this until everyone has had to chance to read the poem at least 4 times out loud to their partner.
6. For more practice, have each group present the poem to another group. Tell them that each group will present the poem in front of the class, so they need to practice it several times with smoothness and expression. Let the groups practice for 10 minutes.
7. For assessment, each group will present the poem to the class. Each partner will recite one of the two stanzas to the class, and the teacher can take a running record of words read aloud, as well as grade students on expression and on-task behavior. A modification for shy students, or students on a lower reading level, is allowing them to use their script to read from when they recite to the class.
Bice, Jana. "Reread for Success." Retrieved from http://auburn.edu/rdggenie
Silverstein, Shel. "Rain." Retrieved from http://famouspoetsandpoems.com/poets/shel_silverstein/poems/14833"Rain Stain" graphic. Retrieved from http://www.mymodernmet.com/profiles/blogs/art-about-overcoming-obstacles