Alexander and the Terrible, Horrible, No Good Very Bad Day

Stephanie Hagler

Rationale:  To better help children learn how to read, both recognizing words automatically and effortlessly in hopes of allowing students to better engage in a fun, enjoyable reading atmosphere.

*Dry erase boards for each student
*Dry erase marker for each child
*Set of Alexander and the Terrible, Horrible, No Good Very Bad Day for each child.
*One timer for teacher.

1)  Which sounds better?
IIIIII woooon aaa priiiiiiiiizeeeeee. Or I won a prize!!!'
Exactly, the second one.  The same applies with reading.  It is much more fun to read fluently and effortlessly, and that is exactly what we are going to do.  Let's get started.

2)  Have each student write  a sentence about a bad day he/she has had.  (Using the dry erase boards and marker).  When finished have each student read it quitely to him/herself then have each student share their senetence making sure that the first time the student reads the sentence slow and drags it and making sure the student reads faster and more enjoyable the next time.

3)  Give each student a book and explain that they are read to themselves as much of the book as they can in one minute.  then explain that they are to count the overall words they can read.  Remember if you don't know a word, use the cover up method.

4)  Let each child share how they did and ask the students to re-do it over.  After all that's what you do when something goes wrong.

5)  Lastly, explain how much faster and effortlessly the students did and explain that practice makes more fluent readers better and more efficient.

I will come around and mark where each child started the first time and then the last time.

Viorst, Judith.  Alexander and the Terrible, Horrible, No Good Very Bad Day.  Alladin Book, 1987.


Eldredge, J. Lloyd. Teaching Decoding in Holistic Classrooms.  Englewood Cliffs, N.J.:Prentice Hall, Inc. 1995.pp.122-145.

Click here to return to Inspirations