As Fast As a Mouse!
The ultimate goal of reading is comprehension, and in order for
fully comprehend texts, they must be able to read them fluently. To be able to read fluently means to be able
to read quickly, smoothly, and expressively.
This lesson will help students to do just that through repeated
readings, timed readings, and one-minute reads.
For each pair of students: copy of If You Give a Mouse a Cookie
stopwatch; for each student: reading chart to record the number of
read after each one-minute read illustrated like so: a mouse will work
from a cookie, up to a glass of milk, up to a straw, and so on like in
book; repeated reading checklist to see whether the student remembered
words, read faster, read smoother, and read with more expression after
one-minute read; and a pencil
- Introduce the lesson by explaining
that in order to become successful readers, we must read quickly,
smoothly, and with expression. Introduce
the term “fluency.” “Have you
ever heard that practice makes perfect? Well,
it’s true with reading. The more practice
you have reading a story, the easier it becomes to understand what the
story is actually about. This is called fluency.”
“Today we are going to learn how to read
using the book by practicing reading this book, If You Give a Mouse
as fast as we can.” Introduce book by
engaging booktalk. “Reading
fast helps you keep up with the story instead of reading
teacher will model how not to read by reading the first page of
You Give a Mouse a Cookie very slowly without fluency, sounding out
word, and taking long pauses between each one. “I-f y-o-u
g-i-v-e a (pause) m-o-u-s-e a (pause) c-o-o-k-i-e.”
that sound good? No, it was very slow and
choppy and boring! Now read the same page, although this time read
with fluency and expression and use different tones of voice. “If you give a mouse a cookie….”
it sound better that time? Yes, it did; it
was faster, smoother, and I used a lot more expression, didn’t I? This
helped me to understand what is going on in the book.
That’s what it means to be a fluent reader.
Now you all get to practice reading fluently by reading the
same book several times.”
- Divide the students into pairs of two
and allow them to time each other for one minute as they each read a
book. Give each pair of students a copy of
If You Give a Mouse a Cookie and a stopwatch.
Make sure the students know how to use the stopwatch. Give each student a pencil and a one-minute
reading chart. “You and your partner are going to practice
fluency by reading If You Give a Mouse a Cookie for one minute. One person will read aloud while the other
person times a minute with the stopwatch. Once your minute is up you will count the number
of words you have just read and write it on the cookie (the first thing
the mouse wants). You will read again for
one minute and write the number of words you read on the glass of milk
(the second thing the mouse wants). You
will continue to do this a few more times. Then
you will write the number of words you read each time on the next thing
the mouse wants (in the book). Your goal
is to get a higher number of words each time.”
Give enough time for at least three repeated readings. “Your partner will then fill out the
repeated reading checklist. After that,
you will switch and your partner will read and you’ll fill out his/her
checklist. I will be walking around in
case you have a question or need help. Okay,
Collect each child’s one-minute readings chart as well as his/her
reading checklist. Compare the number of
words the child read in his/her one-minute readings.
The goal is that the number increased each
time. Review the repeated reading
checklist. Hopefully after the second and
reading, the student will have become more fluent, that is, reading
smoother, and more expressively.
Melton, Shealy. “Ready to Race.” http://www.auburn.edu/rdggenie/connect/meltongf.html.
Numeroff, Laura J. If You Give a Mouse a
Inc., 1985. Felicia Bond. 28 pages.
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