Leap Into Reading

Maria Sanders

Rationale: Reading fluency is an essential factor in improving reading comprehension.  When children learn to read fluently they are able to focus more on content and not decoding each word.  A great way to teach reading fluency is by repeated reading, students will learn to recognize words, and with each reading their speed, fluency and comprehension will increase.


Materials: Frog and Toad are Friends by Arnold Lobel, butcher paper, markers, stopwatches, die cut frogs, tape and assortment of Frog and Toad books


1.       I will read The Letter, which is a story in the Frog and Toad series of I can Read books.  I am going to read a few pages of the story very slowly and choppily.  Then I will address the students.  Did you enjoy listening to me read those pages?  Does it make you want to read a book? No, it does not.  This is why we are going to learn to read more fluently.  Does anyone know what fluent means?  (Wait for ideas and answers), these are all good idea but Fluent means to read accurately at a steady speed.  It is a lot more fun to read that way, and it helps you to understand the story better.

2.       Now, I am going to read the whole story to you fluently which is the way that all of you are going to learn to read.  I will read the story again to the students. I will make sure to use my cover up critters for more difficult words and to cross check so that students know that fluency doesn’t mean that our other skills disappear.  Did you enjoy the story more that time? I know I had a lot more fun reading it that time than I did when I was slow and choppy.  See how I still used my cover up critter and cross checked to make sure my words made sense? Don’t forget to do these things, they are still important!

3.       I am going to put a very large piece of butcher paper on the wall.  On the butcher paper will be our classroom pond.  Each child will have a die cut frog with their name on it and it will be in our pond.  Each lily pad in our pond will have different numbers for words per minute.  This is our classroom pond and everyone is a frog.  As we become more fluent our frogs will hop across the lily pads.  I have enough Frog and Toad books for everyone. You will choose one book and then take it back to your desk..  The children will be paired off.  Each pair of children will have a stopwatch.  Now, take turns reading your book one time all the way through to your partner like this, (I’ll pick a student to be my partner).  Sally will start the stop watch by pushing this button when I start reading.  Then when a minute is up Sally will nicely tell me to stop.  Now make sure that you don’t just try to read the words fast and get them wrong because that wouldn’t help right?  If I read like this, I would read the first page of The Letter fast but wrong, would that be good? No! It wouldn’t make any sense! So remember to decode the words and use your cover up friend if they are hard and go back and make sure that they make sense by crosschecking.  We are all going to be great fluent readers but it takes practice! Ok, break into partners.  The partner who is not reading will time their partner for one minute.  When the minute is up, write down the page and what word you finished on.  I will count the words and place the frogs in the correct spot on the words per minute. 

4.       After all of the children in the classroom have read times, I will instruct the students to read it through to themselves three more times.  Our pond will act as our progress chart for each student.  In order for the students to understand this is not a race, their names will be on the back of their frog. 


Assessment: For assessment, I will time each child myself and move their frog up.  I will discuss with each child his or her progress.  This lesson could be carried out for a week by rereading his or her books everyday and timing each other until their frogs jump across all lily pads.  Each child will also have fluency worksheet chart in which their progress will be shown in different sections for when their peers timed them and when I timed them.



Lobel, Arnold. Frog and Toad are Friends. Harper Trophy Publishing Company. New York City: 1970. 53-64.

Naylor, Katie. “Get on the Reading Fast Track.”


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