Read Like a Cheetah

Growing Independence and Fluency

By: Kelsey Fourroux

Rationale: In order to be fluent readers, children must know how to read quickly, smoothly and effortlessly. This lesson in specific will focus on one of these factors, which is their ability to read faster. We will use repeated and timed readings to help children build fluency in reading.


·         Book Iggy Pig’s Silly Day by Vivian French (teacher and student copies)

·         Timers (One per every pair of students)

·         Pencils

·         Whiteboard/SMARTboard

·         Chart for each pair with a squirrel climbing up a tree

·         Speed Reading Record (for every student):



1. Introduce Lesson: “Today we are going to learn how to become more fluent readers. This means that we can read quickly and effortlessly with expression. In order to do this, we need to be able to recognize words quickly without decoding them. We will practice this by reading our book a few times and then it should get easier to recognize the words quicker each time.

2.  Model Lesson: “I am going to read this sentence to you a few times from the board” (“Iggy Pig went skipping across the field”). (First read it while decoding and sounding out each word): “IIIIggggyyy PPPiiigggg wwweeennnttt ssskkkiippppppiiinngg aaacccrrrooossssss ttthhee fffiiiieeelldd.” (Then read it correctly with pauses between each word): “Iggy       Pig       went       skipping      across      the      field.” (Now read it fluently): “Iggy Pig went skipping across the field.” “Which one was the easiest to understand? Why do you think so? Do you see how each time I got a little better at reading the sentence because I knew what words to expect. This will happen to you when you read and practice your fluency skills!”

3. Explain Activity: “Today we are going to start by reading Iggy Pig’s Silly Day. We will read it together several times so you can see how each time your reading will become more fluent. This story begins by introducing Iggy Pig and tells us how he goes off to skip. He then runs into a big gray animal who looks like he is up to no good. We will have to read to find out what happens. I am going to read you the first five pages of the book to show you how fluency works. Remember if you come to a word you don’t know it is helpful to crosscheck, which means to finish the sentence to see if it makes sense with that word. This will not only help you learn the correct word, but will help you understand what the story is saying. (Read first five pages).

4. Student Practice: “Now that we have practiced together, I want you to work with a partner. Each of you will need a pencil and I will provide you with speed reading records, a timer, and a squirrel fluency tree. I want each of you to take turns reading the whole book to your partner. While one person is reading, the other should be keeping time while listening to the story. Make sure to keep note of the words you partner missed so you can tell them at the end. When you are done, put the squirrel on the correct part of the tree. The top of the tree means they read really fast and bottom means they read really slow; you can put it anywhere in between. (Model the fluency chart to students. Also show students how they should fill out the speed reading record chart).

5. Assessment: Walk around classroom and observe students. Make any notes to help you with this. When the activity it over, take each student’s speed reading record and check it for an increase in speed. Then ask students questions and have them write down their answers to check for comprehension: “Who was the big gray animal?” “What was Iggy Pig doing for most of the story?” “Who was one friend that was with Iggy Pig?” “Who chased down the big gray animal?”


French, Vivian. Iggy Pig’s Silly Day. Illustrated by Melling, David. New York: Scholastic, 1998.  



Smith, Rachel. The Race for Home.     


Cheetah [clipart]. Retrieved from



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