Ready, Set, Read!

Christi Stewart
Growing Independence and Fluency

Fluent reading is the final step to becoming a successful reader.  It takes much time and practice to become a fluent reader.  Two characteristics of a fluent reader are the ability to read smooth and fast.  In this lesson students will learn how to read smooth and fast by performing repeated readings of the same text.  It is important to have these characteristics so that the context can be comprehended.

marker or chalk board
Scieszka, Jon (1989).  The True Story of the Three Little Pigs.  New York: Scholastic Inc., 1989.
copies of different plays for each group (it depends on how many students you have).

1. Introduce the lesson to students by saying, FLUENT READING COMES WITH PRACTICE.  TWO CHARACTERISTICS OF A GOOD READER ARE BEING ABLE TO READ SMOOTH AND FAST.  TODAY WE ARE GOING TO READ THE SAME TEXT SEVERAL TIMES SO THAT WE CAN LEARN HOW TO BE FLUENT READERS.  Remind them that fluent readers do not always know every word but they either read to the end of the sentence or use a silent cover-up method.
2. Write the sentence on the board.  (My Granny had a horrible cold with a sneeze louder than a train.)  Read the sentence slowly to the students.  MY GGRANNY HAD A HOORRIBLE COLD WITH A SSSNNEEZE LOOUDER THAN A T-R-A-IN.  Sound out some words slowly and model the silent cover-up method on some words.  Read the sentence a second time more smoothly.  Ask the students which one they liked better.
3. Write another sentence on the board.  (I had a hamburger and french fries for lunch today.)  Divide students into pairs and have them practice reading the sentence to one another until they can read it smoothly.  When they finish ask them did you read more smoothly the first time you read the sentence or the last?  (The answer should be the last time.)  Tell them THIS IS WHY WE HAVE TO PRACTICE OUR READING TO BECOME GOOD AT IT.
4. Read The True Story of the Three Little Pigs to the class.  Give them copies and tell them FOLLOW ALONG SO THAT YOU CAN BECOME FAMILIAR WITH ANY NEW WORDS YOU SEE.
5. Split the students into groups of four.  Assign each person a character from The True Story of the Three Little Pigs (Wolf, 1st pig, 2nd pig, 3rd pig).  Have them practice reading to one another to become familiar with the text.  After they have read it once tell them NOW CHANGE CHARACTERS WITH SOMEONE ELSE AND TAKE ON ANOTHER ROLE.  They can do this until everyone has had the chance to be all the characters.
6. For more practice assign a different play to each group.  You may give each group a separate play or give them different scenes of the same play.  Tell them EACH GROUP IS GOING TO PERFORM THEIR PLAY IN FRONT OF THE CLASS.  SO YOU NEED TO PRACTICE IT SEVERAL TIMES SO THAT YOU DO NOT MESS UP WHEN IT IS YOUR TURN.  Give them a certain amount of time to practice.  It may be minutes or days, it depends on the length of the play.
7. For assessment you can assign each student a book that might be a little challenge for them at first but with practice they can read fluently.  Have them read the book to you once while you do a running record.  Then send them off to practice and later have them read to you again and do another reading record.  Compare the reading records to see if the student has improved.

Eldredge, J. Lloyd (1995).  Teaching Decoding in Holistic Classrooms.  New Jersey: Merrill,
    1995. pp.167

Scieszka, Jon (1989).  The True Story of the Three Little Pigs.  New York: Scholastic Inc., 1989.