Lana Woods

Developing Independence and Fluency


Cheetah Readers


Rationale:  The goal of reading is to be able to understand what you read.  In order for children to be able to understand the text they must be able to decode accurately and read fluently.  In order for children to obtain fluency they should read and re-read decodable words in connected text.


Materials:  Kite Day at Pine Lake by Sheila Cushman(Educational Insights), fluency check sheets for each student (These are small 3x5 cards that have pictures of animals.  There are two columns of boxes to do repeated readings.  The animals are an elephant, cheetah, swan, and monkey.)  A copy is attached. Pencils, 8x11 reading charts for each student (Simple chart that allows you to graph the number of words a student reads in one minute.  It will be made to chart over a period of six weeks.), star stickers, and a stop watch.



1)      Introduce the lesson by explaining that in order to remember what we read, we have to read fat.  If I read a book to you very slow and word by word then you would have a hard time understanding what I read.  However, if I read to you just like I am talking to you then you will understand the story, especially if I add expression.  We should read just like we talk to each other.  Today we are going to work on reading faster and faster.

2)      Model reading the first page of the book Kite Day at Pine Lake slowly and struggle to decode words.  Ask the students what they noticed about my reading.  Next read the page at a normal reading speed.  Ask the students what were some of the differences they noticed.  Tell the students that I read like a slow turtle the first time, but the second time I read as fast as a cheetah runs.  Did you know cheetah’s can run as fast as you can drive a car?  In order for you to read faster you have to practice reading a story over and over again.  Each time you will get faster and faster and soon you will all be reading as fast as a cheetah runs.

3)      Today I am putting you in partners and I want you to listen to each other read.  I am going to give you a check list.  It has pictures of different animals on it.  The monkey represents reading with expression in your voice because monkey’s can get really excited.  The elephant means that you remembered more words because elephants have great memories.  The swan shows that you read smoother, like a swan gliding across the water and the cheetah shows that you read faster just like a cheetah runs. As you listen to your partner read decide which of these animals’ best describes their reading and put a check mark beside it.  Then switch and let the other person will read.  Then you both get to read the story to each other a second time.  Remember to tell your partner what a good job that they are doing.  When you are done reading sign-up on my sign-up sheet for the next available time to come and read to me.

4)      When you come and read to me I am going to time your reading with a stop watch.  This will help us know how many words you are reading in one minute.  I have a small chart made for each of you to graph how fast you are reading each week.  After I time you, you will be able to put a star by the number of words you read in one minute.  That way you can see how much you will improve each time.  Pretty soon you will all be cheetah readers.



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