Growing independence and fluency

By Lindsey Wise



This lesson is designed to help teach students how to read silently. This strategy is important because children learn to read without disturbing others around them. I will review a fluency skill with modeling how to do a cover-up. We will practice how to read a book in whisper, then work our way toward just lip movements, then finally silently. They will be assessed at the end to ensure that they comprehend what they are reading and they will reread the text.



overhead projector

book Mrs. McNosh and the Great Big Squash by Sara Weeks (one copy per student)

worksheet (one copy per student, teacher write out questions for students to answer)


silent reading checklist (one per student)

Silent reading checklist:

                        _____ Read Aloud

                        _____ Reads in a whisper

                        _____ Reads while moving lips

                        _____  Reads silently


1.    1. Explain why fluency is important. "We have learned how to decode words that we did not know before. We now know that when we read certain letters, they make certain sounds. You all are now able to read faster and smoother and are on your way to being a fluent reader. One other thing a fluent reader does is read silently. Have you ever been somewhere and wanted to read but you had to be quiet? Reading silently means that we read words without saying them out loud for others to hear."

2.    2."When you read silently you say the words in your head instead of out loud. Although we are not reading out loud, we still must read correctly, or fluently. One way that we can read fluently is cross checking a word that we may not know. As a review, I am going to model how to do a cover-up in this sentence for the word squash: (Pretend to struggle as you read squash, covering the letters not said.)

Mrs. Nelly McNosh planted a squash. Ok, I'm going to find the vowel first. /a/‰¥Ï.sssss‰¥Ï.ccccwwww‰¥Ï.ssssccccwww/a/sssshhhh‰¥Ï..ssssccccwwww/a/sssshh. squash.

"One way I might read silently is to whisper the sentence to myself.

(whisper) Mrs. Nelly McNosh planted a squash. (repeat)

I can read with a whisper so I do not disturb others, but I am still making sure I understand and remember what I just read. Now I'm going to try just moving my lips, without even whispering.
            (dramatically move lips to model strategy) Mrs. Nelly McNosh planted a squash.

3.    3.When we read with just our lips, we would not even disturb others with our whispers. Now I'm finally going to try just reading silently‰¥äyou won't hear a whisper or see my lips move.

(silently) Mrs. Nelly McNosh planted a squash.

It may not seem like I just read the sentence, but I did because I remember what the sentence was telling me about Nelly McNosh and she planted a squash."                 

4.    4.Put book on overhead. "We're going to read the first few sentences from Mrs. McNosh and the Great Big Squash. Mrs. McNosh plants what she believes to be an ordinary squash, but within minutes, the squash starts growing out of control! Our goal is to read silently, but our first step is to read in whisper, then to read with just our lips. We are going to practice those steps with the book. Even though I do not hear you read, I still expect you to read and be able to answer some questions about it at the end.

5.    5.Together as a class, we are going to read the first section in whisper. The first day of spring, Mrs. Nelly McNosh went out to her garden and planted a squash. (cover up sentence) Who is the character? (Nelly McNosh) And she planted what? (a squash)

6.   6.Now, let's read the next sentence with just our lips, no whispering.

She pushed the seed in with the tip of her toe, and the minute she did it, it started to grow. Does this seed grow slowly, or is it special and grows really fast? (grows fast)

Finally, let's read silently. No whispers or moving lips. At first it was round and as big as a head䴊in fact it looked just like the paperboy, Fred. Who is Fred? (the paperboy)

7.   7.Assessment: (Pass out Mrs. McNosh and the Great Big Squash books and the worksheets) "Now I want you to finish reading the story either in whisper, with just lips, or silently. Remember, our goal is read silently. And at the end of the story, close your books and answer the few questions on this worksheet. When you are finished turn both of them into me."

8.    8.Assessment: As students read, teacher may walk around room and using the silent reading checklist on each student. Assessment for understanding reading will be made through the worksheets. By answering the questions about the story, I will be able to evaluate if they are able to read silently and understand the story. After worksheets are turned in, students may reread the text. This also gives the teacher more time to assess.



åá         "Shhh I'm Reading! by Katie Swanson

åá         Mrs. McNosh and the Great Big Squash by Sarah Weeks (2000).

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