Racing to Read



Meg Griffin



Rationale: Fluency is the ability of the student to read at a fast, smooth pace and with expression.  Children must be able to decode words in texts in order to develop fluency when reading.  Children develop fluency be reading and re-reading decodable texts as well as by doing timed readings.



-dry-erase markers

-dry-erase boards

-decodable book: "Fun in the Hills" by Matt Sims

-stop watch (1 per each set of partners)

-paper for students to record their partners' reading time

-chart for assessment (as shown below)

-marker for recording


Number of Words
























<! 1. Good morning class!  Today we are going to be working on reading fluently.  Fluency is the ability to read smoothly and with expression.  Can anyone tell me why it is important to read with fluency?  We want to read at a smooth pace and use expression because it helps us to understand what is going on in the story.  Reading this way also makes reading more fun!"

<! 2. First I want us to practice together.  I have a sentence written on the board that says "the fat pig ate too much food."  I am going to read this sentence aloud.  I want you to tell me if I am reading it with fluency.  Ttthhheee ffffaaattt pppiiiiggg aaaatttee ttttoooo mmuuucccch.  Okay, now I am going to read another sentence off of the board.  My dog Dan runs fast and hard.  Okay, which of those sentences sounded better?  That's right!  The second one sounded better because I read it at a steady pace and with expression.

<! 3. Now I want you to try.  I am going to pass out some decodable books.  I want you to read through these books and use them to practice your fluency.  I am also going to give each of you a set of headphones.  I want you to put on the headphones so that you do not distract each other while you are reading.  Remember how I modeled reading fluently?  That is how I want you to read these books.

<! 4. BOOK TALK: Sam and Ted are going on a hike in the hills.  Sam's pack was really heavy, and he could not carry it up the hill, so they decided to take a break and sit on a log for a bit.  As they got up, they heard a sound coming from under the log.  What do you think it was?  To find out, we'll have to read the book!

<! 5. When you think you have practiced enough, and you are sure that you can read the book fluently, raise your hand.  I will pair you with a friend who is finished also and give you further directions.

<! 6. (Directions for the partners) Here is a timer and a piece of paper.  One partner will time the other one for one minute.  When one minute is up, stop your partner.  You will then count how many words your partner has read.  Then record it on this piece of paper.  Once you have recorded how many words he/she read, switch jobs.  Do you have any questions before you get started?

<! 7. When you have both completed your one-minute read, come up to the chart on the board and write your name under the number of words you read.


Assessment: I will assess each child based on their progress with reading fluency.  I will also assess the students in comparison with their peers based on the chart on the board showing how many words each student could read in one minute.



Educational Insights. Is Jo Home?. Carson, California. 1990.

Return to the  Realizations index.

"Fun in the Hills" by Matt Sims, High Noon Books