Growing Independence and Fluency
Valerie Shealey

I Am Growing

Rational:   To learn to read skillfully, children need practice in reading whole text to help them see real reading situations with connected text.  The purpose of this lesson is to teach children to read fluently and more  expressively.  In this lesson we will use whole text to practice becoming more expressive in reading.

Materials:  copies of  The Three Bears by P. Galdone for each group( 6 group of 4 students each)


1.   Begin by reviewing the short vowel sounds.  Review the strategies for decoding unfamiliar words.  Model the strategies of using cover-ups and self-correction.  Tell the students “ If you get to a word that you do not know, cover-up the  part of the word that you know.  Sound out the part of the word that is left and then blend the entire word together.” “After you feel that you know the word, go back and re-read the entire sentence with the word.”  “ Listen to make sure that the word makes sense in the sentence.”

2.   Next,  we are going to read the book The Three Bears.( Read through the entire book once with the class.) Encourage the students to:   Listen for the angry tone of the Papa bear.  Listen for the soft voice of the mother bear.  Listen for the sad voice of the little bear.  Listen for the sound of  fear in Goldilocks voice.( After the reading, divide the students into groups.) Let’s get into groups. I need 4 people in each group. We are now going to act out the book.  Someone will need to be the Papa bear, the mother bear, little baby bear, and Goldilocks.  As you read your part, please be sure to make your voice fit the part.  For example, I will read the first few pages, to show you how it’s done. Notice how I make my voice really gruff for the Papa bear.  Also notice the difference in the mother bear’s voice and little baby bear’s voice.  (The teacher will walk around the room to monitor and observe individual reading strategies.)  (This is an excellent opportunity to assess for fluency and checklist for expressivenesses of reading.)

3.   That was wonderful class.  Everyone has done a great job acting out their part.  I hope that you can now see how important it is to read with expression.  It would have been a very boring book to read each part in the same tone. Your change of voice with each character also told how that character was feeling at that very moment.

4.   Assessment:  Throughout the day, I will listen to each individual student read  a familiar book to me. I will also note their miscues and time for fluency.  While I am assessing  individual students, other students within the class will be assigned a reading of their choice.

Reference:  Beginning To Read:  Thinking and Learning about Print., Adams, Marilyn J., Department of Education, 1990, p. 91-94.

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