Leaping Frogs




Growing Independence and Fluency Design

By: Mandy Williamson




Reading fluently is the ability to read faster, smoother, and with expression. Becoming a successful reader involves reading and rereading decodable texts. Through rereading texts, students will learn to read more words per minute. When children practice and learn to read more fluently, they will be able to focus on the story and it’s meaning instead of decoding the words slowly. As teachers, we should model fluent reading and indicate how it sounds better than segmented slow reading.



Book “Frog and Toad are Friends” by Arnold Lobel (enough for every two people – 10 books), die cut frogs (approx. 20), chart of pond (with lily pads) for each student. (attached), stopwatches (enough for every two students), worksheet with three or four simple sentences to read aloud to practice speed (ex. She has made a mess.).



1.    Introduce the lesson by explaining that when readers read fast, the words flow better. Words and sentences are easier to understand and listen to when they are read fluently instead of read slow. Read a sample sentence to the students. “Boys and girls, I am going to read you a sentence in two different ways. AFTER I get done, I want you to tell me which one sounds better. 1.) Thhhe fffrrroooggg llleeeapppsss iiinnn thhhe pppooonnnddd. 2.) The frog leaps in the pond. Now, which one sounded better? That’s right, the second one sounded better. Can anyone tell me why? That’s right, because it was faster and smoother than the first one I read.

2.    Today we are going to work on reading so that it sounds smooth and more like we are talking to someone. When we talk to our friends, do we talk real slow or kind of fast? That’s right, we talk kind of fast.

3.    “Now, I want each of you to get a partner. I am going to hand out a worksheet with some sentences on them. I want you to practice reading the sentences out loud to your partner. Start slow to make sure you read all of the words correctly. Then try to say the sentences faster and smoother. Take turns and make sure each of you get practice.” I will tell you when to go back to your desks. When students get back to their desks pass out the frog books to each student.

4.    Read the frog book aloud using the shared reading concept. Make sure the students follow along in their copy of the book. Model fluent, fast reading.

5.    Today, when we are reading, we are going to keep track of how fast we can read. In order for us to keep track, I am going to give each of you a chart of a pond and a frog. Pass out the charts, frogs, and stopwatches.

6.    “I want everyone to put their frog on the first lily pad at the bottom of your chart. In a minute I am going to give everyone a partner. You and your partner are going to practice reading this story “Frog and Toad are Friends” by Arnold Lobel (Hold up the book) I want you to time your partner for one minute when he/she is reading. When one minute is up, count the number of words that he/she read in a minute. Write this number on the first line by the first lily pad. This is going to be your starting point. Then switch and let the other person read. After both team members get their first numbers written down I want you to add ten to it. Write this number on the next line. Keep adding ten to each number until all four lines are filled in with a number.

Everyday we are going to work on reading more words in a minute. When you increase the number of words you read in a minute you can move your frog to the next lily pad. But, you can only move the frog if your new number is at least your next number. (Demonstrate on the board).

7.   Allow the students to begin reading and timing. Instruct students to continue reading their books until their frog has reached the last lily pad or until they have taken turns reading four times, or until the time for the activity is up. If people do not finish you can continue the activity again tomorrow for them to progress in their speed. 


 -Walk around and check on each group. Make sure they are completing the task correctly. As you walk around, listen to each student, and answer the following questions for each student.

1.    Does the student read smoothly?

2.    Does the student demonstrate advancement?

3.    Is the student reading fast enough (yet slow enough to understand what they are saying) Make sure the students do not make it a competition.

 -Call each student to your desk and have him or her read, to you, their favorite part of the book for one minute. This will ensure that you, as a teacher, know exactly how fluent the child is and is becoming.

      9.    After the students have finished this activity, ask them to pick out their own book from the classroom library and create a chart on their own to do the same                 thing. This will help them continue to be fluent in their reading. 


Burbic, Cindy. “It’s My Party and I’ll cry If I want to….”

Pegues, Jennifer. “Dive Into Reading.

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