By Aimee Gourdouze
Reading Stage:  Fluency Reading

Silence is Golden

Rationale:  When students can read silently, they are able to continue reading anywhere they go without disturbing others.  Also, silent reading allows for students to think about what they are reading.  Students increase their reading speed and comprehension.  This lesson guides students to use silent reading confidently by using decodable books chosen by each student.

Materials:  Multiple books for each reading level (the easiest books will the decodable book and the hardest will be nondecodable books with more words), pencils, and a worksheet with multiple sentences written on it for cross-checking.

    1.) To begin the lesson, the students will reread a book that was read the day before, or I will have the students gather together to discuss a previously read book.  “We can read this book together as a group, but there are more ways to read.  Today, we are going to try to read without moving our lips.  That sounds difficult, but it is really easy.  Watch me as I demonstrate silent reading.”  Model silent reading with the book being discussed by reading without moving your lips or saying a word.
    2.)  “What would happen if everyone in this classroom began reading books out loud at the same time? Would you be able to concentrate on the words in your book?  I know that I could not read like that.  I would get distracted by other people reading around me.  By reading silently, we make sure that others can focus on what they are reading.  In the same respect, others allow for you to concentrate on your book.”
    3.)  “What should we do if we come to a word that we do not recognize?   Some expert readers try covering the word up and revealing the letters one chunk at a time until they can read the word as a whole.  Also, readers should look for words that they recognize within words that they do not recognize, such as rain in raining.  If you happen to come across a line of words that you cannot read, let’s try and get another book that we can read without as much difficulty.”
    4.) I will model how to do cover-ups with the words “jumper" and “raincoat”.  I will have the words written on word slips that cover up “-er” on “jumper.”  I will explain that I know how to say jump so I need to add an “-er” to jump to make “jumper.” I will have the students help model “raincoat.”
    5.) Next, we will discuss cross-checking.  The students will be given a sheet with sentences like “The man put on her dress and sandals.”  I will have the students figure out if the sentence makes sense or if they need to change a word in the sentence for it to make sense.  After this, I will explain that by cross-checking, readers make sure that they can comprehend what was read.  Cross-checking also leads to faster reading and more comprehension in texts.
    6.) The students will then be allowed to find a book that is at their independent level to read silently.  By using books at this level, the students work on fluency, accuracy, and comprehension instead of new concepts.  Next, allow the students to find a quiet place to read, even if it means that they sit away from their friends.
    7.) Assess the students by using the worksheet.  Ask them questions about their books to see how much comprehension is taking place.  Questions such as, who were the characters, where did the story take place, and what happened to the characters?  If time permits, allow the students to tell the class what their book was about.  If not, make the students write a few sentences about their book for others to read when they get ready to read a new book.


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