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Growing Fluency Reading Lesson

Reading with Fluency is Sweet!

 Growing Independence and Fluency Lesson

Audrey Hurdlow


Fluency is one of the most important aspects of reading. For someone to read fluently, one must recognize words automatically. Fluency is vital to reading, because fluent readers comprehend faster since they do not have to decode each individual word while reading unfamiliar text. This lesson is designed to help students become more fluent readers through repeated readings of a text and timed readings. This lesson will have students working with a partner.



·         Dry erase board and marker

·         Poster with the sentence, “The mouse wants a cookie with a glass of milk.”

·         Cover-up critters

·         Pencils

·         Stopwatch

·         If You Give A Mouse A Cookie by Laura Numeroff

·         Reading rate chart

·         Fluency checklist



1. Explain the lesson concept to the students.

“Today we are going to work on our fluency while reading. Fluency is the ability to read words quickly and automatically with expressions. Fluency is important because it makes reading even more exciting and easier to understand.

“We are going to read the same book three times with a reading partner. You and your partner are going to time each other reading. Everyone should each set a goal for yourself to improve your reading each time. I want everyone to read faster and more accurately with more expressions every time.”


2. Students will then take out their cover-up critters. Model how to use the critters when coming across an unfamiliar word during reading.

“When we see a word we do not know while reading, we can use our cover-up critters to help us. Let’s look at the word pencil. [Write the word smile on the board.] My cover-up critter is going to help me read this new word. [Cover up all letters except for p.] /P/…/p/…pppp [Next uncover e.] /e/…./Pe/…/pe/ [Next uncover n.] /n/…/pen/…/pen/…pen [Uncover c.] /c/…/penc/… [uncover i]…/i/../penci/ [Uncover rest of the word] /l/…/pencil/…Pencil! This word is pencil. We blended all of our correspondences together to figure out that this is the word pencil.”


3. Show the students the poster with the sentence, “The mouse wants a cookie with a glass of milk.” Use this to model fluency.

            “Let’s read this sentence together slowly. The m-m-o-o-u-u-s-e w-a-n-ts a c-c-oo-k-ie w-i-th a g-l-a-ss of m-i-l-k. That sentence may have been hard the first time because there were some unfamiliar words. But now when I read it a second time, it will be smoother. The m-ouse wants a c-oo-k-ie with a g-lass of m-ilk. So I read it faster that time, but it was a bit boring, I didn’t read it with any expression. Let me read it one more time. [Read the sentence with over exaggerated expression.] The mouse wants a cookie with a glass of milk! When I read the sentence for the third time, it was smooth and had expression. So it was much more fun to read and easier to understand!”


4. Place the students with their reading partners. Give each partner pair a stopwatch and each student a copy of the text If You Give a Mouse a Cookie, by Laura Numeroff, a reading rate chart, and a fluency checklist.

            “You and your partner are going to read the book If You Give a Mouse a Cookie three times. One person will be the reader, and one person will be the timer and the recorder. The timer will time your partner reading the book and will record their time on the reading rate chart. When you’re the timer, be sure that you hit start as soon as your partner starts to read and hit stop as soon as they are finished. Write down all three of the times on their reading rate chart.”

            Demonstrate to the students how to work the stopwatch.

            “After your partner has read the book once, make sure you fill out the fluency checklist along with the reading rate chart. So, you’re going to look at the chart and determine if your partner learned more words, read faster, read smoother, and read with more expression each time your partner reads the story. This is not a time to not be nice to your partner. This is a time to help your partner become a better reader, so give them helpful responses.”


5. Introducing the book and the book talk:

“Now I want you and your partner to read this book called If You Give a Mouse a Cookie. It’s about a boy who has to do a bunch of silly things to make his friend Mouse happy. I wonder what the boy will have to do for the mouse? So start reading the book with your partners, and remember to time yourselves!”


6. Observe the reading partners as they read the text. Walk around the room and answer questions that the students may have. Be sure that they are filling out the reading rate chart and fluency checklist.



            The following reading rate chart will be used to examine student’s work, track progress that is made, and as an assessment:


Reading Rate ______________

Words Per Minute




Less than 50





























 The following fluency checklist filled out each reading partner will also be used as an assessment:

 Title of Book:

 Student’s Name:

 Partner's Name:

 After 2nd reading:

 After 3rd reading:

 Remembered more words: 

 Read faster:

 Read smoother:

 Read with expressions:


Comprehension Assessment Questions:      

What are two things that the mouse wants after he gets a cookie?

Why do you think the mouse wanted a glass of milk after his cookie?



Murray, Bruce. The Reading Genie. http://www.auburn.edu/academic/education/reading_genie/.Web. 10 February 2014.

Brown, Holland. Go, Fluency, Go!


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