Racy Readers

Growing Independence and Fluency

Jessi Hodge

Rationale:  A successful reader must read consistently, fluently, accurately, and with emotion.  This lesson is designed to help students become more fluent readers by learning how to work on their reading speed.  This lesson will help students increase their reading fluency through one-minute reads.



  1. Explain what it means to be a fluent reader.  Tell students the steps they will take while working with groups to help them become better readers.  “Fluency means that you can read words fast and easily.  If you are a fluent reader, you can read with emotion.  It might sound like you’re actually having a conversation with somebody.”
  2. Pass out index cards with color-coded dots to each student.
  3. “Have you ever had a really good book, and just could not finish it fast enough?  You were so interested in the book, but you just had a hard time reading it?  Well, today we are going to work on that.  We’re going to learn to read faster and with expression. 

After today, you will be able to make what you are reading sound happy, sad, scary, calm, suspenseful, or exciting!  I want everyone to go to the shelf and pick a book with the same colored dot that is on your index card.  Make sure that you get a good book that you might be interested in later.”  (Teacher should also go to the shelf and get a book.)

  1. After all students have a book and are back in their seats, show them your book.  “When I first read this book, I didn’t know some of the words in it.  It made it very hard to understand.  I read slow and could not understand what the story was about.  So, I read the book again.  And, do you know what happened?  It was the strangest thing!  The words that I did not know before, I read a lot better the second time.  I was amazed.  I started thinking, “How do I know these words this time but didn’t know them last time?  I figured out that the more times we read something, the easier it gets!  We’re all going to try reading our book several times today so that we can learn to dramatize our reading."
  2. “Now start reading the book that you chose.  Read until I tell you to stop.  If you finish reading your book before I say “stop,” reread your book.  (Let them read for ten minutes.)  Give a book talk using Tin Man Fix It.  “This book is about a young boy and his Tin Man friend.  They are planting a garden. While they are planting the garden, another boy zooms by on a skateboard and crashes into Tin Man. He causes Tin Man to break into pieces! You will have to read Tin Man Fix It to see if Tin Man gets put back together and if the garden gets finished.”
  3.  After the students have read individually for ten minutes, pair them with students on the same instructional level.
  4. “When it is not your turn to read, you need to time your partner to see how much time it took them to read.  You need to each read your book twice.  After you finish reading, you need to record your time on the time chart.”
  5. After all students have read to a partner, say, “Now, let’s chart our results and see how we read just a bit faster the second time we read!”
  6. “I want you all to take your books home and show your family and friends how well you can read.”


http://www.auburn.edu/rdggenie/constr/clarkgf.html  (Read and Reread by Seth Clark)

http://www.auburn.edu/academic/education/reading_genie/invent/moncriefgf.html (Faster and Faster by Jane Moncrief)

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