Laura deVeer
Growing Independence and Fluency

Quiet as a Mouse

Rationale: Learning to read silently is a big step to reading fluently.  Children will not be able to read silently automatically, it will take practice.  This lesson is designed to help children work towards grasping the concept of how to read silently.  It will also provide practice activities to help them reach that goal.

Materials: Jane and Babe and A Race on the Lake (Educational Insights), primary paper and pencil, Elkonin boxes and letters.
  -letterbox words: ate, lake, same, cake, Nate, cage, hate, tame, cane,
  -letterbox letters: a, e, t, k, l, s, m, n, h, c, k, p, g

Procedure:
1. Ask one half of the class to talk to their neighbor and the other half to listen to me.  ãOkay now everybody STOP! ã  Ask the non-talkers if it was hard to hear what I was saying.  ãWho could understand what I was saying?  Iâm sure it was hard to hear because I asked the other half of the class to talk out loud.ä
2. Explain to them how important it is that we learn to read silently.  ãImagine if it was that hard to listen to me, think how hard it would be to understand a book you are reading.  So in order for people in our class to be able to read at the same time, we need to learn to read to ourselves- silently.ä
3. Tell them we will take a few steps before we can read silently, it doesnât happen automatically.  ãThe first step we will try is whispering what we are reading.  The next step is just mouthing what you are reading, so nothing comes out, but your lips are still moving.  The last step is reading silently and comprehending the text without moving your mouth.ä  Show these steps to the children in front of the class.
4. Review the correspondence öa_e using a letterbox lesson.  Remind them of our rhyme we learned earlier, ãNate ate cake on a plate at the lake.ä ãWe are going to use our letterboxes to spell some words with öa_e. First we will do one together on the board.  (teacher draws 3 boxes on the board)  Lets spell cake together.  The first box contains a c, the second an a, the third a k, and the e goes to the right of the third box.  Now I want you to take out your letterboxes and letters and you will have a chance to do it on your own.ä  Have children spell the rest of the words using the appropriate number of boxes.  Words: ate, lake, same, cake, Nate, cage, hate, tame, cane.
5. I will read the first page of Jane and Babe in a moderate tone.  ãNow I want you all to read the second page out loud and together, but a little quieter than I read.ä  Then I will read the third page a little quieter than they read.  We will take turn reading the rest of the pages in the book.  The last couple of pages of the book the teacher will read silently but still move her lips and the students will follow.  On the last two pages we will practice reading without moving our lips.
6. Pass out primary paper and pencils and ask the students to write about what they want to be when they grow up and why they want to do that.  Ask them to use their best handwriting and do the best they can with their spelling.  Then they will switch papers with their neighbor and read what the other child wants to do later in life.
7. Assessment: Have the children practice reading silently with the book A Race on the Lake.  Walk around the room and watch each child to make sure they are reading silently and not moving their lips.  Afterwards ask the children if it is harder to read silently and tell them it will take some practice.  Then ask questions to assess their comprehension of the book.

Reference: Murray, B.A. & Lesniak, T. (1999).  The letterbox lesson: A hands-on approach for teaching decoding.  The Reading Teacher, p644-650.
 

Click here to return to Illuminations.