Reread for Speed




Growing Independence and Fluency


Jacob Johnson


Rationale:  Written language is a code that must be interpreted by a skillful reader.  To interpret text, the reader must be able to read with fluency, which involves reading with speed, accuracy, automaticity, and expression.  This lesson will focus on reading with speed which, in turn, will build automaticity.  If a reader is reading letter by letter, word by word, that reader will not be able to comprehend the text, because it requires so much information to be held simultaneously.  But reading with speed and automaticity will free the reader to comprehend the text.  For this lesson, students will read a book multiple times to build reading speed.



copy of What Will Seal Eat for every student

one stopwatch per student pair

handout for each student to record reading times


1. Introduce the lesson by reviewing cover-ups.  „What is something you can do if you come to a word that you don‚t know when you are reading?  Right.  You can use cover-ups.š  Write flush on the board.  „If I don‚t know this word, I can use cover-ups to figure it out.  I will start with the vowel /uuu/.  Then, I will take the letters in front of the vowel /f/ /l/, and add it to the vowel to make /flu/.  I know that sh says /sh/, so I will add that to /flu/ to make /flu/ /sh/, /flush/.  If you see a word in your book today that you don‚t know, read the vowel first then add the letters in front of it, then the letters after it, to figure out the word.š


2. Pass out a copy of What Will Seal Eat to each student.  „This book is about a seal that is very hungry.  It is trying to find something to eat.  It finds some food, but the food is not what seals eat.  Will the seal be able to find what seals eat?  We are going to read What Will Seal Eat to find out.  When I first read this book, I had trouble with some of the words, so I had to read it slowly.  (Read a sentence or two choppy and slowly.)  But then I read it again, and I could read it a little faster, and I could read with expression.  I could make some parts happy, sad, or exciting.  (Read a sentence or two faster and with expression.)  I did that by raising and lowering my voice.  I learned that reading a book more than once can help me read it faster and with expression.  So we are going to practice with this book and see if we can get faster.š


3. Have the students read the book.  (When everyone is finished.)  Discuss the book with the students.  „What did seal find that he didn‚t want to eat?  What did seal find that he did want to eat?š etc.


4.  Have students partner up.  „Now everyone is going to read the book again, but this time, your partner is going to time you to see how long it takes you to read your book.š  The student not reading will write down reading time for the other student.  (Recorded times will be used for assessment.)  Each student should read twice.




Text for Handout





First reading time_________________



Second reading time_______________



5. „Everyone look at your times and see how you read faster the second time.  If you didn‚t read faster, you can practice more to try and get faster.š


6. „Take your book home and read it to your family.  Show them how fast you can read it.  Remember to read with expression, so they will know when to be happy, sad, or excited.  You can get them to time you if you want to see if you can read it even faster than you did at school.  The more times you read it, the faster you will get.š




Meg Miller.  Speed Readers.


Sheila Cushman.  What Will Seal Eat.  Carson, CA:  Educational Insights, 1990.



Click here to return to Perspectives