Growing Independence and Fluency

Verlissa Echols

Fishy Fun   

Rationale: This lesson will allow children to see the importance of reading. Through rereading a book, the children will increase their fluency and word recognition. The review of the correspondence /ai/ = long a will help the children recognize words with the long a sound within the book.

Materials: The Rainbow Fish by Marcus Pfister, Copies of the book without illustrations (one for each child), Crayons, Bland Fish Shapes, Fishing Pole-pole with yarn and magnet attached, Fish shapes with the following words (paper clips serve as magnet): rain, gain, hen, drain, fin, chain, Spain, main, egg, and tub, and a Box that resembles a fish pond.


1. Begin the lesson by reviewing the correspondent /ai/ = long a. I will put the class into groups of five. Explain to them that the pond contains some fish that have the long a = /ai/ sound and some that don't. They are to take turns and go fishing. The child will say the word and tell if it has the long a =a/ai/ sound in it. If they miss it then they must throw it back into the pond. I will model this activity by taking the pole and putting it into the pond. I will pull out the word main. I will say main and then say that it has the long a = /ai/ sound in it. Next, I will put the pole back into the pond and catch the word tub. I will say tub and then tell them that it does not have the long a = /ai/ sound in it.

2. After completing the review session, I will read The Rainbow Fish aloud to the class. Then I will demonstrate a fluent and non- fluent reader. The children will stand beside their desk if I am reading fluently. This activity will assess their understanding of fluent reading.

3. Now the class will read the book as a whole. Assign each child a page of text to read. Tell them to blend the words as we practiced. This activity will give the teacher a chance to assess if they are reading fluently.

4. Designate a packet of the text to each child. The text will not be illustrated. The child must illustrate each page according to the text. In order to do this; they must read the book silently.

5. When the children are finished, tell the students to get back into their groups of five. Allow the children to read the book aloud to each other. Every child in the group must do this.

6. Hand each child three index cards.

7. Tell the children that they should go through the text and write down a word per card that has the long a = /ai/ sound in it.

8. Each child will bring their cards to the front of the room and we will say the words as a whole class. The children will put a paperclip onto the fish and put it into our class pond (this activity can now be used as an enrichment activity for any extra time available)

Reference: I expanded on the idea from Teaching Decoding in Holistic Classrooms by J. Lloyd Elderedge.

Eldredge, J. Lloyd. Teaching Decoding in Holistic Classrooms. Brigham Young University. Prentice Hall, New Jersey (1995). Pg. 61.

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