Reading as Fast as Lightening

Megan Stephenson

Growing Fluency


This main purpose of this lesson is to teach fluency, which is the ability for a person to be able to read text smoothly, expressively, and quickly. When we are able to read fluently, we are able to dig deeper into the meaning of the text and become an expert in comprehension. When people do not read fluently, they can become frustrated or bored with the task of trying to read slowly and choppy. However, if they are able to read fluently, they can enjoy the books more and take away a story or message. In order to truly effectivly practice and teach fluency, you and the student must do repeated readings, timed reads, and graphs that keep track of their progress.



• Stopwatches for teacher and student pairs (for class time)

• Sticky notes

Fox in Socks by Dr. Seuss

• Fluency time sheets to mark scores and graph to monitor improvement


Fluency Time Sheet:

Student’s Name: __________________________________   Date:


1st Timed Reading: ______________

2nd Timed Reading: _____________

3rd Timed Reading: _____________


Partner's Name: ______________________________


• Fluency Checklist (to pass out to students)

Fluency Checklist:


Name: ___________________________________                                 Date: ____________________


Title of Book: __________________________________


After 2nd Reading After 3rd Reading

_________                    _________                   Remembered more words

_________                    _________                   Read faster

_________                    _________                   Read smoother

_________                    _________                   Read with expression


• Pencil for each student



1.  I will begin this lesson by teaching what being a fluent reader means and why it is crucial to be able to read fluently.  I will tell the students. "Today we are going to challenge ourselves on a certain skill that will make us much better reader. When we are better readers, we can enjoy the books more and not focus so hard on every individual word. We are going to learn to become fluent readers. I am going to show you how a fluent reader reads! Does anyone know what this might sound like? A fluent reader is able to read fast and expressively. They rarely miss words and are able to follow along the story.."

2.  "Now, how can we learn to read the same books faster? Do you think practice might help? Yes, just like you practice soccer or basketball to become better, we will practice reading to become a faster and better reader! We are going to read the same great book many times and time ourselves and our partners during readings. You will read for about a minute. After you read for this short amount of time, you will stop and see how many words you read and how many words you can remember. Then, we will continue to do this three times and count the words after reading. When you are reading, try to really focus what you are reading and reading well."

3. Next, I will model a short passage. "Now, listen for me to read this passage in a couple of different ways. While I am reading, think about which one sounds the best. (First time: Iiit w..a…s was a h..o….t d d..a..y. (read sentence very slow and choppy)) "This is my first reading, I will continue to read in another way." (Second time:I..t It was h…o…t a hot ddaaay. (Read a little better but still slow and without expression.)) " Did that sound different? Now, listen and I will read a third time." (Third time:It was a hot day. (Read smooth with expression). " Did I read in three different ways?  Which one sounded the best to you? The third? Why did it sound better than the other two? Why do you think the third sound the best? Did I get better or worse each time I read? That is why each time we reread something, we read clearer and understand the passage it better."

4. Now, I will go around the class with copies of "Fox in Socks", a stopwatch, a progress board, and a fluency time sheet. The students will be given directions and then read three sentences from the book for the first time. After they have done this a few times tell the class, "To become better readers, we are going to read this again and see if it helps our reading skills.  Try to remember words from last time! You are going to be in pairs. In this book, you will hear many silly words and have some fun reading rhyming words and maybe learning new words. Dr. Seuss is always full of surprises so I know the story will be interesting. We will have to read the story to see what exciting things might happen."

5. "You will start reading and your partner will time you for one minute. Take all the time you need, but try to read as many words as you can in the time that you have. As you read, remember the strategy we learned called crosschecking. If you come to a difficult word, go back and check to make sure it makes sense in the sentence. If it doesn’t, mentally mark that so you can get it right for your next reading. Listen to me as I crosscheck, " The- cot-says-me-ow. The cot says meow. No, No, No, the CAT says meow." See you can correct yourself if a word doesn’t sound right! Anyways, When the minute is up, your partner will tell you to stop. When you stop, use a sticky note to mark where you stopped. Now, you will try to say as many things as you remember from what you just read and your partner will then count the number of words you say. After you are done saying all that you can remember, go back to the beginning of the story and count all the words you read. You will write the number of words you read in the first blank of your fluency time sheet beside the number of words you remembered from the story. After you wrote that number in your chart, it will be your partner’s turn. So, take the stopwatch from your partner and let him/her repeat what you just did." (Model for students exactly how to do this by doing each step before letting them get into their groups)

6. "After you and you partner have completed this one time through, do the steps above two more times for a total of three readings each."

7.  "After all three blanks are filled in on both peoples chart, talk with your partner about how you improved each time. You can go through the checklist and see if you can check off each item. If you are able to check off each item, you are on your way to becoming a fluent reader!"

8. Afterwards, the class will do a brief writing activity concerning the comprehension aspect of the book. I will have a beginning, middle, and end chart for them to fill out in complete sentence from the book.




Myer, Leslie. Fall into Fluency

Seuss, Dr. Fox in Socks


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