Cara Anspaugh
Growing Independence and Fluency
It’s Silent Time!


Rationale:  Reading silently is an important step for students to learn so they will become a fluent, independent reader.  Students will be able to enhance their comprehension of different texts.

Materials:  A selection of books on different levels, writing journals for each student, Stellaluna by Janell Cannon and publication: San Diego: Harcourt Brace Jovanovich for the teacher to model from


1.    Introduce the lesson by explaining to the students what silent reading is and how they accomplish it.  "Have any of you been in a library and seen signs that read ‘Please Read Silently.’  Silent reading is when you read a book to yourself without making a sound or moving your lips.  Silent reading makes us better readers.”
2.    Have a corner of your classroom to be the reading center with different level books, a rocking chair, and Stellaluna for the teacher, and enough room for the students to sit on the floor.  Bring the whole class to the reading center.  Explain to the students the three steps to become a silent reader.  “The first step is to ‘whisper read.’  I have chosen a book, titled Stellaluna, to model for you.  Just listen while I whisper a line.  See you could barely hear what I was reading.  Now you read by moving your lips, but not making a sound.  Let me show you by reading the same line again.  Did you see or hear the difference?  Finally, you read silently, this is when you read without making a sound or moving your lips.”
3.    Cross-checking is very important to use while you are silent reading because no one can hear you when you miss a word.  While you are reading your book and you come across a line that does not make since go back and read the line again to see if you missed a word.  Then you can finish reading your book.
4.    Now pick a small group of students one at a time to go choose a book from the class library that they would enjoy reading.  Tell them when they pick a book give it the two finger check to see if it is on their reading level.  By doing this, read the first page of the book and if you missed at least two words that book is too difficult for you.
5.    After you choose your book go back to your desk and read silently.  Do not talk to the person next to you because they are trying to read too.
6.    When the students are done, have them write about the book they read and what they learned about silent reading in their writing journal.  The teacher will then collect these for assessment and look to see if the students comprehended the story while they silent read.

Eldredge, J. (1995). Teaching Decoding in Holistic Classrooms. New Jersey: Prentice Hall.

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