Growing Independence and Fluency
Michelle Harris
Plot the Story


Rationale:  The ability to read words quickly, correctly, and effortlessly is essential for reading comprehension.  In order for children to desire to read voluntarily, they must be able to absorb meaning from text in an automatic and smooth manner.  In addition, silent reading both facilitates this goal of voluntary reading and is part of the goal.  This particular lesson involves silent reading, peer interaction, and a creative writing exercise to stimulate increased voluntary reading.

Materials:  chalk, chalkboard, pencils, paper, and a variety of books on their level that each contains a plot (have several levels for diversity)

1. Review cross-checking.  I will write a sentence on the chalkboard.  When reading the sentence aloud, I will replace one word with the wrong word.  “Tom ate a peanut butter and jelly sandwich.”  Replace jelly with jell-o.  Demonstrate how this does not make sense.
2. Engage in silent reading.  I will review the meaning of the terms setting and plot.  I will instruct the students to each select a book from a collection compiled by me.  I will remind them to pay attention to the sequence of events, or plot, in the story.  The students will read their books silently at their desks paying attention to the elements of story that I have instructed.
3. Integrate writing.  Divide the class into groups of three.  Describe a mock setting.  Example: “The night was dark and cold.  Clouds gathered over the moon.  As I approached the old house on the hill, the door swung slowly open….”  Each group will create a plot and finish the story.
4. Share oral reading experience.  After the students have been given the time to complete their stories, they will share them with the rest of the class.  Each child will read a part aloud.  I will be listening to the stories.  I will listen for fluency and comprehension about the parts of a story.

Reference:  Laura Taylor; Flowers Elementary School Montgomery, AL; grade 2; 1995

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