Growing Independence & Fluency

I’m Bananas About Reading!

Alison Bradley



Rationale: In order for children to be able to have better comprehension, they must first become more fluent readers. Without learning all the skills needed for decoding, comprehension can become very difficult. Fluency must be achieved, but only after the major correspondences have been mastered. Through repeated readings, children can become more fluent, and will begin to grasp the content of the story easier, their site vocabulary will increase, and their reading speed will also increase.



          -one large palm tree with bananas at the top (class copy)

            -one large monkey (class copy)

            -individual copies of the tree and monkey for each student

-class copies of books for the different reading levels such as That Mean

Man and Be Nice to Spiders from the Creative Reading Program (group children   

accordingly and color coat books according to levels).

            -class set of stopwatches



1.      "Let's review how to blend words that we don't recognize by sight. If I see the letters b r u s h, but I cannot read the word, I first look at the vowel sound. In this word, u says /u/. Next I go to the beginning sounds. Br says /bbbb/ /rrrrr/. If I add the vowel sound at the end, I have "bbrrrrruuuu." Finally, I look at the last sound. It is /sh/. So, now I can combine all three sounds to read "bbbbrrrruuuush. Brush!" When you see any words you don't know today, you should use this vowel-first method to figure it out."

2.      “When we are reading it is important for us to read very smooth, just like we are talking. Listen to this sentence: I a-m rea-dy f-or re-c-ess. Would you want to listen to me a whole story that way? Of course not! But, if I read the sentence like this, ‘I am ready for recess,’ it is much more interesting. In order to be able to read like this, we need to practice, practice, practice!” Put children into reading groups and pass out books for each group.

3.      “Now that you are in your groups, I want each of you to read the book three times each. Now look at this tree and monkey I have here. Our goal is to read 60 words in one minute. Each time you get closer, I’m going to move the monkey closer to the bananas. At your desk, I want your monkey to make it to the bananas, or as close as you can get. Have your partners in your group time you with the stopwatches for one minute.” Allow the children to practice within their reading groups.

4.      “Tonight, you all can take your book home with your monkey and banana tree and see if you can get the monkey to the top of the tree. It will be fun to see how fast you can read!”

5.      While the children are working on another activity, you can pull each child individually to do an assessment on fluency. Each child can complete the same task with a new book, doing one-minute reads 3 times.



                      -“Faster, Faster, Faster” By: Rachel Williams   

-“Speedy Readers” By: Kate McMarma

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