Reading and Rowing to Treasure Island

Growing Independence and Fluency

Evelyn Griffin




Rationale:  Fluency is a huge part of being good reader. It involves speed, accuracy, inflection, and comprehension.  In order to be a fluent reader, students must practice by repeated readings.  Repeated readings also help students achieve automaticity which is the ability to recognize words automatically.  The purpose of this lesson is to strengthen a students fluency ability by reviewing words and repeated readings.




-Class copy and teacher of Fuzz and the Buzz by Shelia Cushman

-White board to write pseudowords on (kain, blove, poat, quon)

-Expo markers

-Stop Watch

-Board with water, island, and treasure painted on it

-Boats to move on the board to show progress (velcro may be needed)





1.  First, I will explain to students what fluency means. "Fluency is the ability to read quickly, easily, and expressively.  We improve our fluency by repeated readings. I'm going to ready a sentence two different ways. You tell me which one I read more fluently.  ( I like to ride bikes and hike in the woods.)


For teacher:

Poor Fluency Example: Read the words and sentence slow and exaggerate phonemes.

Proper Fluency Example:  Read the words quickly, accurately, and with expression.


Ask students:

"Which sentence sounded better? The first one or the second one?" Which was easier to understand?  (second)

"How do we become fluent readers?"  (by reading over and over)


2.  "We are going to read some pseudo words.  Who can explain to me what a pseudo word is?" 


I will explain to students that a pseudo word is a pretend word. 


Then I will suggest reading pseudo words by using vowel-first body-coda method.  I will model for the students how this method is used with a regular word. 


 "Let's take a look at how we would use the vowel first method with the word kick.  We will first start with the vowel.  In this word, the i says /i/. Now, look at the first letter k which sounds like k= /c/. Combine the /k/ and /i/. k-k-k-k-k-i-i-i-i/. Finally, look at the last part (coda). In this word, ck says /k/.  Combine the beginning, middle, and end. k-k-k-k-i-i-i-i-k-k-k-k. KICK!   Use this method to decode the pseudo words I write on my white board.


4.   Do all pseudo words listed in the materials and help the students by covering up parts of the word if they need it.


5.   I will write another sentence on the board and have students demonstrate proper fluency. ( I went to the store and got bananas.) Congratulate the students who were able to read the sentence fluently.


6.   Next, we will each pull out a copy of "Fuzz and the Buzz." First I will give a book talk (below). Then, I will read the book one time through as they follow along. Then, they will practice reading by themselves.


Book talk: Fuzz is bear that loves to play outside. He accidentally makes some bees bad. Read to find out what happened to buzz.


7. Last, I will assess the students by one minute readings.  Each time a student improves their speed and overall fluency, they get to move their boat closer to treasure island on the board. They get multiple tries.




Cushman, Shelia. Fuzz and the Buzz.  Educational Insights: Carson, CA, 1990.


Flying High with Fluency by Alizabeth Irwin


Up, Up, and Away with Fluency by Katheryne Clark



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