Flying High with Fluency

Growing Independence and Fluency Design

Katherine Carnes


Rationale: Fluency is the ability to read a text accurately and quickly, and becoming a fluent reader is important for comprehension.  In order for children to become more fluent, they must be able to recognize words automatically and effortlessly.  Children achieve word automaticity by repeated reading. The purpose of this lesson is to build fluency by having children read over and over again while striving to reach new goals each time.


·         Copies of Curious George Takes a Trip for student pairs and teacher

·         Board or display chart with writing utensil

·         Copies of listening check sheet for each student

·         Stopwatch

·         Place to record WPM

·         Student speed chart with plane and WPM (This is a plane with Velcro on it. The plane moves up into the sky in relation to the child's WPM)

·         Copy of assessment passage


    1. This lesson begins with an explanation of fluency. Say: "Fluency means you read quickly and with expression. It helps you understand what you're reading better. Let me show you." Have sentence from book written on board, "Winter was long, cold, and snowy in the big city." First, read it by decoding, then read it faster, and then with expression. Have children note the changes in how you read.

    2. "There are a few other things we should talk about that will help you become a more fluent reader. First is cross-checking. This is a strategy that allows you to guess a word you can't decode by using its context. Let's practice with the sentence I just read: Winter was long, cold, and /s/ /n/ /o/ /w/ /E/. That word doesn't sound right. Let me finish reading the sentence to figure out what it is. Winter was long, cold, and /s/ /n/ /o/ /w/ /E/ in the big city. Hm, Long, cold, and snowy? That makes sense! Now, I'll use mental marking to remember that word. I'll note that o is actually a long O. /s/ /n/ /O/ /w/ /E/."

   3. "Now you can practice reading fluently with a partner. When you read, your partner will listen to you read the story three times, and will fill out this sheet (Listening check sheet). After each reading, the listener will check what you did better. We will work with Curious George Takes a Trip. This book is about Curious George and the man in yellow hat taking a trip on a plane! But they wake up late; I wonder if they'll catch their flight? Read with your partner to find out."

Listening check sheet:



Assessment: Students will be assessed by timed reads.  I will time how long it takes the student to read the passage with a stopwatch and record his or her WPM (words read x 60 / seconds) on a chart.  For every time the student improves they can move their plane up in the sky on their speed chart.




"Soaring High with Fluency" by Jamie Johnson

Curious George Takes a Trip by H.A. Rey



Return to Expeditions index