Lightning Literacy

Independence and Fluency

Lindsay Dick


 Fluent readers must begin to read with automaticity so they can focus on the meaning of the text. There are many important practices that will aid students in developing automatic reading. Silent reading allows students to learn to hear dialog in their heads which leads to better comprehension. Readers Theatre is an activity that allows students to practice reading certain texts many times while developing speed and expression. Allowing students to practice reading in this way supports their development of reading and comprehension.


Readers Theatre Edition:  The Legend of Lightning Larry by Aaron Shepard,  one per student

Rubric for assessing The Legend of Lightning Larry performances


1.  Pass out one copy of The Legend of Lightning Larry to each student. Have them read silently along with you, the teacher, while you read the story to them. Model fluency and expression for the students. As an example read the expressive the word Zing as Zing! Also read sentences like “I’m mighty glad to know you, stranger!” he shouted, just as it was in a conversation not like it is written in a book.

2. Explain fluency. Read the same sentence and word as above with and without expression. After you say each sentence and word have the students decide which is more interesting to hear and say. More than likely they will select the sentence and word with the most expression. Tell them that this is called fluency and it will help them to become better readers.

3.  Give each student a part in the Readers Theatre book. Have them each practice their parts as a class. Allow them much time and chances to read their parts. Tell the students that they will perform this as a class for another class (next door). Allow students to read and reread any problems again until they are comfortable with this new text.

4. Once the students have become familiar with their parts and are showing fluency and expression allow them to stand and add motions and even more expression to their text readings. If students lose some fluency or expression when they move around have them stay seated to preserve the fluency and expression while they read.

5. For assessment when they are ready have the students perform for another class. While they are performing assess them using the rubric attached to this lesson plan.


Bennett, Desiree Zoom Zoom! Reading Racers!, from Inspirations

Shepard, Aaron, Goffe, Tony.  The Legend of Lightning Larry.

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