I want to be a Fluent Reader for Halloween!


Kayla Wesley

Rationale: The ultimate goal of reading is comprehension. However, to attain comprehension a reader must be fluent. To become a fluent reader is to make sights words and read them accurately, automatically, and with expression so that the focus of reading is no longer on decoding, but the message of the passage. This goal of this lesson design is to help readers become fluent and move towards comprehension through repeated readings.


·         This Book is Haunted by Joanne Rocklin, Harper Collins. 2003. – one copy for each student

·         Cover up critter, popsicle stick used for decoding – one for each student

·         Dry erase marker

·         White board

·         Stop watch – one for each pair of students

·         Interactive graph to track readers' fluency rate (i.e.: a Velcro trick-or-treater moving closer and closer to a bucket of candy)

·         Reading fluency partner check sheet – one for each student

·         Pencils


1.      Say to students: It is so important for us to be fluent readers. Good readers are fluent readers. I know that each of you can be a fluent reader. That means that you read words quickly, accurately, and you use expression in your voice. When you read fluently, it makes it much easier for you to understand the story. Today, we're going to practice becoming fluent readers and I want each of you to set a goal to read fluently.


2.      Say to students: To become fluent readers, it is important to practice. I'm going to show you some ways to help you figure out a word when you are unsure of what it is. First, pull out your cover-up critter. (Write pitch on the board) Oh boy, I wonder what this word could be. To figure it out, I'm going to cover up all of the letters with my critter. Then, I'm going to slowly uncover each of the letters. First, I'll uncover "p". I know that "p" says /p/. Next, I'll uncover "i". I know that "i" says /i/. /p/-/i/-, /piii/. Now, I'll uncover "t". "T" says /t/. /PPiiii/-/t/, pit. I know pit. Next, I'll uncover "c" and "h" together because I know that they work together to make the /ch/ sound. So now, I have /p/ /i/ /t/ /ch/... pit-ch. That word is pitch!

3.      Now, I'm going to show you what a fluent reader sounds like. (Write, "I love to drink water", on the board). Okay, I'm going to read this sentence. "IIIII loooffff, lof – that sounds funny, I better keep going. I lof to drink w-aaa-ter, w/a/ter... OH, this sentence says "I love to drink water." Now that I am sure of what these words are, I'm going to read it again and see if I can do it a little faster. "I love to drink water." Wow, I am getting so good at this; I think I will add some expression this time, "I LOVE to drink water!" 

4.      Say to students, "Now we're going to let you try! I'm going to say some words and I want thumbs up if you hear /i/, thumbs down if you don't. Mitten, snow, puppy, kitten, sick, well"

5.      Pass out the book This book is Haunted, one for each student. Say to them: We're going to practice becoming fluent readers by reading this book since Halloween is coming up! We're going to read the first story, called 105 Windy Street. This story is about some children who are going trick-or-treating. Their mom tells them that they have to be home by 7 o'clock. However, the children have so much fun going door-to-door that 7 o'clock comes and goes and they forget to go home. When they realize what time it is, they aren't ready to go home because their bags aren't full of candy yet. But, something happens to them and they begin to wish they had gone home instead of disobeying their mother.

I want everyone to read this story one time and we will discuss what happens when you are finished. (Ask students comprehension questions such as: What happened in the story? Would you have done what the children did? Would you have been scared if that happened to you?)

6.      Pair each child with a partner and say: I want you and your partner to take turns being the reader while the other partner is the recorder (explain the enclosed recording sheet to students). The reader is to read the story three times through. The recorder is in charge of starting and stopping the timer, as well as recording the time on the recording sheet. After you are done reading/recording three times, swap places.

7.      After each student reads, their partner will evaluate them using this checklist. They will also record each time on a piece of paper so the reader can set a new goal.


8.      As the students are reading with their partners, I will call them up to do a timed reading with me, individually. I will also have the students read the story to me three times. I will explain the interactive graph to them and let them know that it is important for their trick-or-treaters to make it to the bucket of candy and that this can only happen if the reader meets their goals. As the student reads, I will record their time, scaffold between readings, and encourage them to push on.



East, Morgane. Fluency for Halloween!
Murray, Bruce. Developing Reading Fluency.          

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