Shhh, I’m Trying to Read!
Brooke Erickson

Growing Independency and Fluency

Rationale: Fluent readers should be able to read faster, expressively, silently and voluntarily. Students have to practice reading in order to become fluent readers so learning to read silently takes a few steps. In this lesson students will learn to read silently by watching the modeling and reading and rereading the text, "Sam the Ant”.


____ Reads aloud

____ Reads in a whisper

____ Reads while moving lips

____  Reads silently


1.”Now that you all know how to decode words and are starting to read faster and smoother we are going to learn another helpful tool while reading.  Have you ever been trying to read or do homework and you couldn’t because someone was also trying to read and they were being noisy?  Or have you ever wanted to read somewhere quietly like the library?  Well today we are going to practice how to read silently!”

2. “Silent reading is when you read a book in your head instead of out loud.  This way you and your friends can all be reading different books at the same time together in the classroom.”

3. “We are going to practice silent reading together.  Everyone look at his or her sentence strip.  First, we will all read the sentence out loud together.  Next we are going to all read the sentence in a whisper.  Now everyone read the sentence while moving your lips but not letting any sound come out.  Lastly, everyone read the sentence to themselves in their head.”

4.  Now we are going to read a story called Sam the Ant.  Sam the ant is working with his friends to build up the ant hill.  There are some kids around and the ants are worried that they will get stepped on.  Will the ants be able to build up the ant hill without getting stepped on? We'll just have to read to learn if they finish the ant hill." Once each child has a copy of Sam the Ant give them the following directions: “We are going to practice silent reading with our four steps again.  This time we are going to use the first two pages of our book to practice.  Everyone remember first read aloud, then read in a whisper, then read by just moving your lips and finally read silently or in your head.”

5.  “Next everyone find a partner and spread out in the room.  You are going to take turns observing your partner read silently.  Remember to follow all four of the steps to reading silently.  Your partner will check off each step as you do it.”

6. Once everyone is finished reading the story to their partner the class will come back in and discuss the story.  They will be asked comprehensive questions in order to see if not only are they reading silently but do they also comprehend what they read. Ask questions like "Where did the ants find the crumbs? Did they get stepped on? What did Sam the ant find to bring to the hill?"

7.  For assessment students will come to my desk one by one and read Sam the Ant to me by going through the four steps to silent reading.  I will use the same checklist that they used with their partners.


“Sam the Ant” By Eleanor McDavid,1,Sam the Ant

“Shhh I’m Reading” by Katie Swanson

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