Get Lucky!

       By: Lindsey Waits

Growing Independence and Fluency

Rationale:  The goal of this lesson is for students to learn how to speed up the pace of their reading.  Students read slow and monotonously to avoid making mistakes.  In order for students to comprehend the text, they need to learn to vary the rates of their reading.  Fluent readers read faster, smoother, and more expressively.  By reading and rereading the text, the students will learn to read faster.  This lesson will help to assess and improve this skill.

Materials:  A copy of the book Just My Luck for each of the students; stopwatches for every pair of students; a large poster with a white rainbow with Velcro on divisions, small color paper stripes for each child, chart to record times, pencils.  Have the chart filled out in intervals of 25 to represent how many words they read per minute.  The reading rainbow will be used for assessment also.

1. Review the correspondence u = /u/ so this will be fresh on their minds while reading the text.  I will do this by asking the students what the /u/ sound looks like.  Then we will go over a very quick tongue twister to help them remember a little better.
2. Do a book walk for the book Just my Luck.  ãEveryone has gotten out of bed one morning and known from that moment on that they were going to have a horrible day.  Maybe you fell or stepped on something and that told you that you were in for a bad day.  During this book, a boy is having one of those days.  He woke up one morning to get read for school and to his surprise snow covered the ground outside.  What usually happens on school days when it snows?  Thatâs right, we donât have school.  The little boy was so excited but he wanted to make sure so he turned on the radio, but the radio did not work.  He turned on the TV too, but it would not work either.  Finally he reaches a friend on the phone and finds out that his school is the only one having school that day.  From this moment on he knows that he is going to have a bad day.  Letâs read that book and find out what else goes wrong in his day.ä
3. Very slowly I will read the first page of the story to the students.  I am going to be sure to pause for a while between some words and be very cautious.
4. Ask the students if they noticed something while I was reading that they would like to change.  How can I improve my reading and make you want to keep reading the book?  Have the students make a list on the board of all of their suggestions.
5. Ask the students to recall what you read to them from the first page.  Explain to them that the reason it might be difficult is because it is hard to understand a book when it is read very slowly and without using exciting voices when something fun happens and sad voices when something bad happens.
6. Reread the first page of the book again to the students but this time use a lot of expression and excitement and at a faster pace.  Ask the student to give you some of the differences that they liked.
7.  Show the students the reading rainbow and talk about how boring it is just plain white.  Explain to the students while you are passing out the colorful stripes that they will need to find a partner.  Instruct them to time each other and count the number of words their partner reading in one minute.  Show them how to work the stopwatches and give each student a turn to practice.
8. Have students work through the reading rainbow process three times encouraging them to work on improving each time.
9. Compare the first and last reading for assessment.


Eldredge, J. Lloyd, (1995).  Teaching Decoding in Holistic Classrooms.  Prentie Hall Inc. pg. 8, 19.

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