Swing into Fluency

Growing Independence and Fluency Lesson

Janie Brady

Rationale: To become successful readers, it is important that students learn to read fluently. Fluency allows students to read smoothly and use expression. Fluent readers can recognize words quickly, automatically, and effortlessly. In order to become fluent readers, students must build their sight vocabulary. To do this, students must move away from decoding and move to automatic word recognition. We can use repeated readings to help students recognize words automatically and become more fluent readers. In this lesson, students will develop fluency skills through repeated readings with each other.


Curious George Visits a Toy Shop by Margaret and H.A. Rey’s for each student

Timer for each pair of students

Fluency Check--List sheet for each student

Reading Record time sheet for each student

Cover Up Critter for each student (painted popsicle stick with two googly eyes glued to one end)

Comprehension question worksheet for each student.


1. Teacher: It is important to become a fluent reader! All good readers work to be fluent readers so they can read faster and correctly while trying to understand what the book is telling us. Fluent readers also read smooth, quick, and with expression to make the story exciting. We can practice fluency by reading a book more than once! Each time we read it, we will become more familiar with it.  This is called repeated reading!


2.  The teacher will then model reading fluently. “I am going to read a sentence from one of my favorite books, Curious George Visits a Toy Shop. (Slowly)”H--e  w--a--s  a  g--ooo--d little mm--onn--key and allwaaays-- very curri-- curious.” Hm, let me read this again and see if I can do better. (slightly better) He was a good little monnnkay, oh monkey, and al--ways very careful, I mean curious. Now that was a little better! But I know I can do better so I am going to try again. (Just right) “He was a good little monkey and always very curious.  That was so much better! I read it smoothly, at a good pace, and with expression. It took me a few tries to get it just right, but that’s why we do repeated readings!”


3.  The teacher will then engage the students in a book talk of a chapter from Curious George Visits a Toy Shop. “This is a story about a monkey named George! I’m sure you have all heard about him, but in case you haven’t, he is a very curious monkey! When he goes to visit the toy shop, he starts swinging all over the place and makes a big mess!! Then the owner starts chasing him! Are you curious what will happen next? Let’s read and find out!”


4.  Give a copy of the text, cover up critters, reading record sheets, fluency checklists, and a timer to each set of partners. “Today everyone will be working on your fluency with a partner. Each of you will take turns reading the story. You will each read it three (3) times. You can use your cover--up critter to help you figure words out if you need it. While you are reading, your partner will time you then record it on the reading time sheet I will give you. Your partner will also be looking to see if you are reading smoother, with more expression, and remembering more words. Remember to use only your kind words when discussing with your partner their reading skills! After you finish reading, talk to your partner about the book!



Walk around the classroom during the activity to monitor student reading and recording. Have the students turn in their score sheets after finishing their repeated reading. Check the score sheets to see if there are improvements.  Graph each student’s individual words per minute read so that they can see their improvements (Use words read x 60 divided by amount of seconds it took them to read the text). 


Ask the students comprehension questions to check their understanding of the text.

Who did Curious George go to the toy store with?

What was happening at the toy store that was special?

How did Curious George make a mess?

In the end, what happened to Curious George?



Rey’s, Margaret and H.A. Curious George Visits a Toy Shop. Houghton Mifflin Company. 2002.


Nichols, Haley. Practicing Fluency with Frog and Toad. http://www.auburn.edu/~hen0003/nicholsgf.htm

Swinging Monkey GIF -http://www.animateit.net/details.php?image_id=2486








Assessment Sheets


Fluency Checklist










Reading Record



1st read: ____________min____________sec


2nd read: ____________min____________sec


3rd read: ____________min____________sec


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