Growing Independence and Fluency
Christie Grover
Watch Out for the Wasp!

Rationale: One characteristic of expert readers is that they are able to comprehend what is being read easier than beginning readers. Also, beginning readers do not read nearly as smoothly as expert readers. Reading must be practiced consistently in order for a reader to be able to read fluently. Fluent readers read smoothly, quickly and with much expression. This lesson is designed in order to develop these characteristics in the beginning reader.

Materials: several short but interesting books (ex. “Hey Al” or “I’m Not Going to Get Up Today”) , fluency checklists

Procedure: 1. Dialogue- We have learned many things about letter recognition and their sounds. These factors help us to read better. All people read in different ways. Today we are going to talk about the correct and incorrect ways to read. (Demonstrate the correct way to read by reading a selected passage quickly and smoothly. Demonstrate the wrong way to read by reading a passage choppy and without expression). I will explain to the students that to be a good reader, you must read fast but slow enough to understand, smoothly and with emotion. Tell students: If I was telling you that a wasp was going to sting you, I wouldn’t say slowly and dully, “A wasp is going to sting you”. I would say it quickly and with feeling and excitement. For other to be able to understand us, we must learn to read smoothly and expressively.
2. Today we are going to practice how to read fluently. I want you to get in groups of two. You are going to pick a story from the one’s I have available and read to your partner. When the first person is done, the other reader should try to read it faster and with more feeling than their partner. When finished, you will switch places and read another story. First, we will do one together. (I will read a passage using the incorrect method; that is choppy and dully. Then I will ask a student from the class to reread the story more quickly and with more expression.)
3. I want you to practice individually. I want you to go to a quiet place in the room with a partner. You will choose another story and read to each other. I will come around and assess your reading through listening to you and I may pass out a fluency checklist. If you need any help, ask your partner. If the two of you are unable to solve it, raise your hand and I will help you.
4. I am so proud of everyone. We will practice this at the end of the day to get more practice. Remember to always read with expression.
5. The assessment will be made through my listening to the students read to each other. I could also ask the students to evaluate each other using fluency checklists.

Reference: Murray, Bruce ed. (2000). Reading Lesson Designs. P. 48. “Read It Like You Mean It” by Kelli Mason.
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