Home‎ > ‎

Ms. Harbarger's Growing Fluency Lesson Plan

          Wildly Learning Fluency

Growing Independence and Fluency Lesson

By: Connally Harbarger



            Fluent readers enjoy reading!  They read quickly, automatically, and expressively.  Fluency is an extremely critical aspect to reading.  In order to be a successful reader and student, you must be able to read passages and stories fluently.  When a reader is fluent they no longer have to decode each individual work while reading an unfamiliar text. Because of this, fluency produces a better and faster comprehension, which is crucial to successful reading!  This lesson is designed to assist students’ in becoming more fluent readers through repeated readings of a text.  By reading a text repeatedly, it will build students fluency skills.



-       Copy of the reader’s theatre, Where the Wild Things Are

-       Sentence strips to put on the elmo. (The boy’s favorite season is the summer.  He likes that is it hot.)

-       Copy of assessment text, A Job for Karla

-       Comprehension questions for the assessment etxt

-       Stop watches




1.        I will explain to students what being a fluent reader means.  Say: “It is so important that we all become fluent readers!  When we are able to read fluently, not only will our reading levels grow but our love for reading will grow also!  I want this to happen for everyone!  To become fluent readers, we must also understand what this means.  Fluent reading sounds nice and smooth.  It is very easy to understand what you are reading when you read fluently.  A story is read fluently when it is read at an appropriate speed for listening, there is accuracy in word recognition, and there is expression used by the reader!  Knowing all of these things is going to help you become a fluent reader, which is what we all want to be!”

2.        Say: “Becoming a fluent reader is a process that does not happen overnight.  When you are trying to read fluently, there will be times when you come across an unfamiliar word.  When this happens, do not be discouraged!  Use your strategies that you have learned to help you decode the word.  If you have attempted to decode the word and still cannot figure out the word, you should finish the sentence and see if you then can recognize the unfamiliar word.  When you do this, this is using a strategy called crosschecking.  I am going to demonstrate crosschecking for you.  (Pull up sentence on the elmo) ‘The cat r-o-ms around the yard. Rom? Oh! Roam!  After I finished the sentence, I was able to go back and figure out the unfamiliar word.  After you have done this, you should make a mental note in your head that includes anything about the word that is irregular.  After you have crosschecked and made a mental mark in your head, you should always, always, always go back and reread the sentence.  When you are rereading the sentence, practice reading smoothly and fluently since you now know all the words in the sentence. ‘The cat roams around the yard!’  These are really good reading strategies that will help you learn more sight words.  The more sight words you learn the more they will enable you to become a fluent reader! How exciting!”

3.        Say:  Now that we know what a fluent reader is and what to do when you come across an unfamiliar word, I am going to model for you how to practice reading fluently.  I want you to notice all of the steps I take to become a fluent reader by reading these few sentences.  I also want you to think and notice how much more enjoyable it is to listen to someone read fluently than it is to hear someone read non-fluently.” (Put the sentence strips on the elmo: The boy’s favorite season is the summer.  He likes how hot it is outside.)

First reading of the sentence: “The boy’s fav-fav-favorite (/It/) se-son is the summer.  Oh! The boy’s favorite season is the summer!  He likes how hot it is ot-sid. Oh! He likes how hot it is outside.”

Say:  In this example I used the crosschecking strategy to figure out what the words were that I did not recognize by sight and when decoding did not work.  When I did this, I made a mental mark in my head about the following things.  I noticed that the I in favorite says /i/.  I also noticed that the ea in season says /E/ and not /e/.  The first time reading that was hard for me, I had to really think about how to decode the words without getting discouraged.  Crosschecking really helped me to do that!  After I have gotten all of my words by crosschecking, I can reread the sentences faster and more fluently. ‘The boy’s f-favorite season is the summer.  He likes how hot it is outside.’  Wow! Did you hear the difference in that time than the first time?  Was that time more pleasant to listen to? Yes!  I think so, too.  But I think I can read it even better.  I am going to read it again, and this time I am going to add expression to my reading.  ‘The boy’s favorite season is summer.  He likes how hot it is outside!’  Wow!  What did you think of that reading?  I thought it sounded beautiful!  I even enjoyed reading the sentence expressively, and you all probably enjoyed listening to me read it.  I also learned from the reading that this boy loves summer because of how hot it is outside!  This is the stage of reading that I hope you all get to, too.  And I know that you will! 

4.        Say: “But we know that to get to this fluent stage of reading, practice makes perfect!  We are going to start our practice today!  As a class, we are all going to participate in a reader’s theatre.  We are going to use the reader’s theatre 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. Every classmate is going to have a part, and the most important thing is that you read your assigned part as fluently as you can.” (Each student will have a few lines of the theatre text to read.  I will have each student sit quietly while I hand out each student’s assigned lines for the reader’s theatre.  I will explain to the students that I first want them to read quietly to themselves.  I will remind them that while they are reading to themselves, they should be decoding, crosschecking, making mental marks, and rereading when they come across unfamiliar words.  My hope is that this will give them a chance to become comfortable with their assigned text before reading it aloud to their partner. (Their partner will be the person sitting to the right of them, the class is sitting in a circle on the floor).  Say: “Now that you have had a chance to read your part silently to yourself and become familiar with any unfamiliar words, I want you to read the text aloud to your partner.  After one partner has read, the listener should help the reader by giving them any tips for reading more fluently the next time.  Then, after the second partner has read, the listener will do the same. This will be an opportunity for the students to practice reading their lines out loud to someone else.  By instructing students to give tips to their partners, this is giving the listener a responsibility that requires listening.  It also will make the listener listen for the qualities of a fluent reader, which will make them more familiar with them and hopefully promote fluency among themselves.  The partners will use the “partner critiquing sheet for fluency” to share with their partner what they can work on in order to better their expression and fluency.

5.        Say: “Ok, now that we have all had a chance to practice our parts and receive advice on how to improve, we are going to begin our reader’s theatre!  I am going to be the narrator and will lead us.”

6.        After the reader’s theatre has been completed, I will facilitate a class discussion about their experience with fluency in this exercise.   We will discuss things that made a fluent reader stand out, what was helpful to them in increasing their fluency, and how fluent reading helped them to enjoy and understand the content of the reader’s theatre script better.

7.        Assessment:  For the assessment I will have students work with a partner again.  I will have a short message, A Job for Karla, for each child to read.  A Job for Karla is a story about a little girl named Karla who loves watching plays.  She wants to be able to take part in a play with her friends but she gets too nervous.  The students will have to read to find out how Karla gets a part in the play.  We will have to Students will partner up with the same partner that they worked with earlier, and they will time each other reading this short passage.  (Each set of partners will be given a stopwatch.)  First, students will read, A Job for Karla, quietly to themselves.  This should be when students become familiar with any unfamiliar words.  Then, students will take turns reading this passage out loud to their partner as their partner times them.  Partners will record the time is takes for each student to read the text.  Students will have the opportunity to do this 2 times.  Students will be instructed to fill out the “fluency partner check list” as their partner reads aloud and then rereads aloud.  My hope is that their score will increase each time they read the passage.  After they have worked with their partner, the students will return to their individual desks to answer comprehension questions about the passage.  Comprehension is a major part of fluency.  As fluency increases, comprehension should also increase.  There is an important need to always check comprehension when you are assessing fluency!  After all, comprehension is the ultimate goal of fluent reading!

8.        Finally, I will have students turn in their comprehension work and I will calculate their reading per minute (words x 60/seconds).  This will give me an accurate measure of the student’s reading speed and comprehension.  This will give me an idea of where each student stands with their fluency skills!




Donner, Mary Kathryn.  Learning Fluency with the Wild Things. http://www.auburn.edu/%7Emkd0013/donnerdf.htm


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


Assessment passage and comprehension questions: http://www.meade.k12.sd.us/Curriculum/2nd%20Grade%20Fluency%20Passages/2nd%20Fluency%20Passage%2011.jpg

Click here to return to the Metamorphoses index: Metamorphoses Index


Partner Critiquing Sheet for Fluency

Name of Recorder:____________________

Name of Reader:______________________

 ________________Reading Rate








WPM       1      2      3

Total words read:  

1st time: ________words in ________seconds

2nd time: ________words in________seconds

3rd time: ________words in ________seconds