Shh…Reading Time

Lesson Design: Growing Independence and Fluency

by: Melissa Henry

Rationale:  This lesson will help students to improve their silent reading abilities.  It is important that teachers realize that students must be taught these skills.  Students need to be able to read silently so that they have more time to comprehend information and learn from what they are reading.  Through this lesson and repeated practice, students will be able to read silently and comprehend what they have read.

Materials:  A copy of Alphabet Stew by Jake Prelutsky for each student, pencil and paper, a classroom library.

Procedures:  The teacher will model silent reading by using the first stanza of the poem Alphabet Stew.  Read the first line out loud and talk about how that would disturb others around you.  Read the second line in a whisper voice, the third by only moving your lips, and read the last line silently.  Then summarize for the students what the first stanza was about, point out how you read the story without having to read out loud.  Repeat the reading out loud, whisper read, lip movements, and silent reading steps with the second stanza as an entire class.  Have the students silent read the rest of the poem and ask someone in the class to summarize after everyone is finished.
 Now have the students go to the classroom library and choose a book that is not too difficult.  Remind them of the two-finger rule.  If they cannot read two of the words on the first page they need to put that book back and choose another.  Ask the students to sit next to a partner.  If a student’s partner is too loud, they can out their hand on their partner’s shoulder to remind them to read silently (this will remove any need to talk).  The teacher should model silent reading at the same time and not use the time to work on anything else.  As the students finish reading they need to write a summary of the story they have read.  This will be the assessment of the individual’s silent reading ability.

Murray, Bruce.  The Reading Genie Website. Retrieved from the Auburn University                                                       Website on October 29, 2002.

Prelutsky, Jake. (1982). Alphabet Stew. Random House Book of Poetry. Random House:    New York.

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