Racing into Reading

Growing Independence and Fluency Lesson Design

Julia Drews


Rationale: Fluency is the ability to recognize words quickly, automatically, and accurately.  This lesson will help students to become more fluent readers by reading different texts and becoming familiar with it.  By becoming more fluent readers, students will be able to get more meaning from the text.  The more practice students have reading the more their skills will improve. 





Toy Cars

Copies of The Dragon's Scales by Sarah Albee

Time sheets

List of sentences



1.Introduce the lesson by explaining that to become better readers we must begin to read fluently, and that will help us to understand the text more also.  Before you begin the lesson, take the time to explain and model cross- checking.  For example, give the students a wrong sentence and help them to figure it out.  "The dog slept on the cabinet.  Does that make sense? No, how about; the dog slept on the carpet.  Yes that makes sense.  If you are having trouble with a word that doesn't make sense you can use your cover up critter to try and figure it out."  Remind the students that they need to reread the sentence to make sure it makes sense. 

2.Demonstrate to the students what reading with fluency looks like and what reading without fluency looks like.  "The dog ran after the ball.  The d-o-g r-a-n a-f-t-e-r the b-a-l-l.  Notice how I read the sentence slowly, I was reading without fluency.  Now I will read it again with fluency.  The dog ran after the ball.  It was easier to understand what I was saying when I read the sentence fluently."

3."Today we are going to try and read words as fast as we can without mistakes.  Now I would like each of you to get a partner.  I am going to give you a list of sentences that I would like for you to practice with your partner.  You can start slow making sure you say each word correctly but then try the sentence again going a little bit faster and smoother each time."

4.Give the students a book talk on The Dragon's Scales by Sarah Albee.  "There is a town called Berry Town; where everybody loves berries! One day a mean dragon decided to move in; will the people of Berry Town be able to get him out before he destroys everything?  Read the book to find out!"

5.Pass out a copy of the book to the students and let them read it on his or her own.  Once all of the students have finished ask questions to make sure that each child understood the story. 

6.Split the children into partners again and give them each a photocopy of a racetrack with three stops on it, a stopwatch and a toy car. "Okay class, read the story one at a time while your partner times one minute on the stopwatch.  Whenever your finish two pages in the book stop the watch, and when your time improves you may move your car to the next stop on the racetrack.  For example if I read two pages in 49 seconds and then the next time I read them in 45 seconds I would be allowed to move my car.  Continue doing this until you make it around the track.  Then come tell me how many tries it took you to get around the track."

7.Assessment: Once the children finish I will have them come to me and do a minute read with me so I can see how well they are doing or if they need more help.  I will also walk around while they are working with their partners to see if their times are improving.  The students would also be allowed to check books out of the school library or out of my classroom so they have something to read at home, that is how they will get better!



Michelle Mummert, Speeding into Fluency,


Holly Kubik, Read;Set;Let's Read!,


Adams, Marilyn-Jager. Beginning To Read: Thinking and Learning about Print. 1990.



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