Rationale: The goal of this lesson is for students to learn how to speed up the pace of their reading. Students read slow and monotonous to avoid making errors. In order for students to comprehend the text, they need to learn to vary the rates of speed at which they read. Fluent readers read faster, smoother, and more expressively. By reading and rereading, the students can learn to read faster. This lesson will help to assess and improve this skill.
Materials: The book. Just my Luck, (one for each student), stopwatches (1 per 2 children), large poster with racetrack with Velcro on divisions, small paper racecar with Velcro for each child, chart (for teacher use) to record their previous times, and pencils. On chart, write numbers in intervals of 25 to represent how many words they can per minute. This activity will be used to assess the students to see how fast they are reading and to document their improvement.
1. Review the correspondence u = /u/ so that this will be familiar when reading the text.
2. Introduce the lesson by giving a book talk on Just my Luck. ďHave you ever had one of those days when it seems like everything is going wrong? This book is about a boy having one of those days, He starts out the day by looking at the window and it is snowing. What usually happens on school days when it snows? Thatís right, we donít have school. This boy is so excited and tries to find out if school is closed by turning on the radio, but it wonít work. Then he tries to turn on the TV too, but it wonít work. He finds out from a friend on the phone that all the schools are closed EXCEPT for theirs. Just his luck! Letís read to find out what else is going to go wrong in his day.Ē
3. Read the first page of the book to the student very slow and boring.
4. Ask the students what you can do to improve your reading. Make a list of all of their suggestions. Explain to them that the way you talked about the book made it sound like a wonderful book, but the way you were reading it made it seem very boring.
5. Explain to the students that it is hard to understand a book if you it too slowly and without expression. Reread the first page, this time at a faster pace and with expression. Get students to point out the differences.
6. Introduce the Reading Racetrack and pass out cars to the students. Put the children into pairs and instruct them to time each other and count the number of words they read in one minute.
7. Allow students to reread the book two more times recording how many words per minute they read each time.
8. For assessment, compare the first to last reading and document any improvement.
Reference: Eldredge, J. Lloyd, (1995).
Teaching Decoding in Holistic Classrooms. Prentice Hall Inc.
pg. 8, 19.
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