Run, Run, As Fast as You Can, You Can’t Catch me I’m the Super Reading Man!


Growing Independence and Fluency Design
by Michelle Mazza

Rationale: Students need to be fluent in reading in order to read a sufficient amount of material over their life time.  Fluent readers have to be able to read accurately, rapidly and automatically.  The purpose of this lesson is to help students learn how to read with speed and expression in a smooth, conversation like manner.  Through the instruction strategies of repeated readings, timed readings, and one-minute reads, the students will gain the tools necessary to become more fluent readers.   



- A copy of “Jane and Babe” for each student (decodable test by Shelia Cushman, Educational Insights 1990)

- A white board

- Stopwatches for each pair of students

- pencils

- Speed Reading Record sheet

                        Name:_________________________            Date:___________


                        - After 1st read            _______

                        - After 2nd read           _______

                        - After 3rd read            _______


- Repeated Reading Checklist for each student to assess their partner which says:

                        As I listened to my partner read, he/she:

                                                                                    After 2nd           After 3rd

                        1. Remembered more words                 _______          _______

                        2. Read faster                                       _______          _______

                        3. Read smoother                                 _______          _______

                        4. Read with expression                       _______          _______



1.  Begin lesson by telling students that in order to become fluent readers that they need to learn how to read with greater speed and less effort.  Students need to understand that once they can read smoothly, accurately and effortlessly, they will begin to enjoy reading.  Reading a story several times helps you to become a fluent reader.  Every time you read the story, you should become more and more familiar with the text, and you should be able to read it faster each time.

2.  Explain to the children that one way to figure out troublesome words is to use “cover ups.”  I am going to demonstrate the way  that this strategy works.  Let’s pretend that I do not know what the word stiff is.  After writing stiff on the board, I would cover up every letter but the short /i/.  I would remind the students that /i/ makes the icky sticky sound. Then, I would uncover the first letter s and remind that s makes the /s/ sound plus the /t/ sound together makes the /st/ sound.  Next, adding the /i/ sound makes /sti/.  Now, uncover the last letter and add the /ff/ sound.  Once all of the sounds are put together, we get the word stiff.  Now we are going to practice putting a few more words together.  Let’s try the word “snug” together.  

3.  Now, I want you to listen to me model the way that a fluent reader should read.  When you read with fluency, you put together chunks of sentences and read with expression. I am going to write the same sentence on the board so that you can follow along with me.  The sentence is: The animals at the zoo scared the children.  The first time, I will read it slowly, without fluency, “The-animals-at-the-zoo-scared-the-children.”  I will ask the children if that sounded like the way a fluent reader would read.  Hopefully, they will recognize that it was hard to understand and very choppy. Then, I will reread the sentence in a smooth, expressive manner, “The animals at the zoo scared the children!”  Then, I will explain to the students that the reason it was hard to understand the non-fluent sentence is because the words were all chopped up and did not flow together to make sense.  When I read with fluency, my reading became fluent because I was able to automatically recognize the words and read them immediately.  Does everyone understand? (questions) Ok great, I want everyone to practice reading with expression and in a smooth manner when you read your stories aloud today.

4.  Now, I will give everyone a copy of the book “Jane and Babe.”  This is a story about a lion named Babe who lives in the zoo.  Jane is the zoo keeper who wants to play with Babe.  The only problem is that Babe is asleep.  To find out if Jane can wake Babe to play, you will have to finish reading “Jane and Babe.”

5.  Now that everyone has read the story once I want you to pick a partner.  The pairs of students will take turns reading the story aloud to each other.  As your partner is reading, you will get the stopwatch and time your partner while they read.  After the partner has finished reading, the student working the stop watch will record the time down on the assessment log.   Repeat the same process with the other student.  When you are done, take the Repeated Reading Checklist that I handed out and read to each other again as the other listens and times you then write the time down.  This time I want you to fill out the checklist for your partner.  Mark which ones your partner completed.  For example, the first one says “Remembered more words” so if your partner did not remember more words the second time, then you do not mark this.  Number two says “Read faster” so look at the times you took on your stopwatch and see if they read faster and if so check this box.


To assess the children, I will have them come up to my desk individually during lunch/center time and complete one minute reads.  I will chart their time, miscues, and progress.  The one minute reads will let me see how many words the child is reading a minute as well as how much automaticity is developed. By doing this I will be able to tell where they are on their path to fluent and independent reading.  Also, while they are at my desk, I will have them bring me their Repeated Reading Checklist to see how their partner graded their progress.  Finally, I will ask a few comprehension questions to ensure that they did not speed read through the material and to see that they actually understood the story.  Some sample comprehension questions would be: Where did Jane work? What kind of animal was Babe? How did Jane wake up Babe? How did Jane play with Babe?




Rickard, Laci “Read with Speed and Be In the Lead”

Tate, Natalie “Kits are Slow, Reading is Fast”

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