“Fun and Fluent”

Growing Independence and Fluency

Anne Barron


Fluency picture




Rationale:  For students to be fluent readers, they must read quickly, automatically, and expressively.  Not only should fluent 2nd grade students be able to read with speed, ease, and expression, but they should also be able to comprehend what they are reading.  One way to increase fluency is through repeated readings.  Reading a passage of text several times allows students to become more fluent by making all words of a text sight words.  In this lesson, students will gain fluency through repeated readings of their parts of a reader’s theater.



Copy of the reader’s theater for the children and teacher

Props for the reader’s theater

Copy of what you will read as the example of the fluent reader

Copy of assessment questions


1. Explain to students what being a fluent reader means.  “It is very important that we all become fluent readers.  A fluent reader’s reading sounds much nicer and smoother.  It also allows us to enjoy what we are reading!”


2. “Also when you are reading and you come to a word you do not know finish reading the sentence and go back and see if the word makes sense in the sentence. This is called cross checking. All good readers cross checks while they read to help correct their reading to sound smoother.”


3. Demonstrate a fluent reader and a non-fluent reader.  “To review what it means to be a fluent reader and non-fluent reader I am going to read a page from the book Jane and Babe.  Bbbbbbaabe s-s-tays iiiin hi-i-s caaaggge.  (Read one sentence from the book) (The first time read the sentence very slowly, without expression, and choppy.)  That is what a beginning reader sounds like.  They read very slow, choppy, and sound like robots.  Now I am going to read the same page from Jane and Babe.  Babe stays in his cage.  This time I am going to read like a fluent reader.  (This time read the text faster, with ease, and expression.)  That it what a fluent reader sounds like.  They read the text quickly, smoothly, and with expression.  Our goal is for everyone to be a fluent reader, which is reading just like you are talking.”

4. “As a group, we will coral read through the first six lines of the Reader’s theater together four times. Coral Read with the class. “Notice how our accuracy and smoothness improves each time.”


5. “To make you a more fluent reader, we are going to do a readers theater. Everyone is going to have a part, but the important thing is that you are going work on your part. You will work with a partner on your parts and become very comfortable with your parts so when we do our play it will sound great. We are going to be doing the play Where the Wild Things Are. This play starts off with a boy named Max, who is not being good for his mother. He gets in trouble and gets sent to his room without dinner. While he is in his room a lot happens. We will have to read to find out what happens to Max.


6. What to do with your partner

1st- read your part to yourself silently

2nd- read your part to your partner and then let them read theirs

3rd- read the parts back and forth like it would be done in the play.


7. After everyone has practiced their part come back together and put on the reader’s theater. Maybe have a few props to make it more fun and interesting.


8. Assessment: Here I will check for comprehension, because comprehension of what they read is an important part of fluency.





What did Max’s mother call him the night he wore his wolf suit?


What hung from his bedroom ceiling?


How did Max tame the wild things?


Why did Max give up on being king of where the wild things are?


How would you have felt to be Max?


Would you ever go back and visit the wild things? Why or Why not?





The Reading Genie: Developing Reading Fluency



Sendak Maurice, Where the Wild Things are http://web.archive.org/web/20060117005325/http://hometown.aol.com/rcswallow/WhereWildThings.html


Deason, Morgan Grace. Hopping Into Fluency http://www.auburn.edu/academic/education/reading_genie/awakenings/deasonmggf.htm


Cushman, Sheila. Jane and Babe. Educational Insights. 1990.


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