Touchdown Reader

Growing Independence and Fluency

Kim Alldredge


Rationale: In order for students to learn to comprehend text they must first gain fluency.  Fluency is defined as recognizing words effortlessly.  The purpose of this lesson is for the students learn to read more fluently by practicing reading and rereading.  Students will gain an understanding of what it means to be a fluent reader. 

Materials:  Dry Erase Marker             
             Dry Erase Board

             A copy of Kick the Football, Charlie Brown for each student
             Progress chart for each student
             Check list for assessment
             Stop watch 

Procedure 1:
Today we are going to work on speeding up our reading.  This will help us be a more successful reader.  We are going to score a  touchdown in reading!!”  That means we are going to read fast and accurately.  We are on our way to becoming fluent readers!! Once you learn how to read more quickly and effortlessly you will be able to understand the text more because you won’t have to focus as much on the words.  Each time you read a story you get faster.  The practice helps speed up your reading.  Today we are going to read a book about football.  We will read this book a few times in order to attempt to speed up our reading.  We will record how we much we improve after each time we read.

Procedure 2:
Let’s review what good readers do if they become stuck on a word.  The first step is to take a shot.  Cover up part of the word to help make it easier to sound out.  If you still can’t read the word then you read the rest of the sentence and see if it helps you figure out the word.  Then go back and change your guess to fit the sentence.  Last go back and reread the whole sentence so you can get back into the story.

Procedure 3:
I am going to write a sentence on the board.  I will read the sentence with fluency and then without fluency so you can see the difference.  [Write on the board: I am going to score a touchdown!]  [Read the sentence in the following manner: I a-m g-o-ing t-o s-c-o-re a t-ouch-d-ow-n!]  Raise your hand if that was a little difficult to understand?  Now I am going to read it again.  [Read the sentence fluently: I am going to score a touchdown!]  Raise your hand if that was easier to understand?  I did not have to spend a lot of time on each word so I was able to read more fluently.  Today you are going to practice reading fluently.

Procedure 4:
[Pass out the
Kick the Football, Charlie Brown book to each of the students.]  This book is called Kick the Football, Charlie Brown.  This book is about a boy name Charlie that is scared to kick the football.  To find out whether Charlie Brown will kick the ball or not you will have to read the book.  I am going to give you some time to read through the book two or three time to yourself.  After everyone has had a chance to read through the book a few time we are going to have a discussion about what happened in the book.  If you get stuck on a word remember to use the good reader strategies, but try to focus on reading quickly and accurately so that you can gain the meaning of the text.

Procedure 5:
[Ask students questions about the book to see if they comprehended what they read.]  [The following are questions that can be asked: 1) Who is the main character?  2) Did Charlie kick the ball?  3) What happened at the end of the book?]

Procedure 6:
[Divide the students into partners.]  We are now going to pair up with a partner and fill out a fluency checklist for our partner.  The first time your partner will read the book and you will not record anything.  On the second and third time they read the book you will record if they
remembered more words, read faster, read smoother, read slowly, stopped many times, or did not stop at all during reading.  After the first partner finishes and the recordings are complete I want you to switch partners.

Procedure 7:
[For assessment have each student come to your desk and read a story to you.  Have the student do a one-minute read and time them as they read.  Provide a progress chart for each student and mark the progress from the first one-minute read to the second and third.  Post the charts in the classroom, so that you can check their fluency again at a later date.]

References: Brandi Gainor

              Schulz, C.  2001.  Kick the Ball, Charlie Brown.  Little Simon.  

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