Reading Fluency Lesson Plans

Students can improve their reading skills using fluency lesson plans.

By Lesley Roberts


Reading Fluency Lesson Plans

Most teachers know and understand that reading fluency includes the speed or rate of reading, as well as the ability to read text with expression. Fluency has been defined as "the ability to read connected text rapidly and effortlessly with little attention to the mechanics of reading." Children are successful with decoding when the process used to identify words is fast and nearly effortless or automatic. Most teachers recognize that the concept of automaticity refers to a student's ability to recognize words rapidly with little attention required to the word's appearance. However, what is the key to getting kids of any age to read effortlessly?

In general, the fluency formula is this - read and reread decodable words in connected text. Teachers should direct students in decoding unknown words rather than guessing from context. Students should also reread to master texts as well as use text with words they can decode using known correspondences. Teachers should use whole, engaging texts to sustain interest. In order to teach and/or improve fluency, teachers should know that there are two general methods to improving fluency. The direct approach and the indirect approaches both require time and effort to implement in the classroom, but with consistency, teachers will begin to see improvements.

The direct method involves modeling and practice with repeated reading under time pressure. This means sitting with students either one on one, or in small groups, and practicing with the same text. Teachers will need to have access to a literacy library where the texts are leveled or organized according to levels for the struggling readers in the classroom. There may need to be some phonics instruction as you move through the text. It will also become very obvious in which areas students are struggling, so there may need to be anecdotal record keeping about what is seen during the reading period. Teachers will also need to take a timed reading of the text at a certain point. With struggling readers, it is best to start with a timed reading once a week, usually at the end of the week.

The indirect approach involves encouraging children to read voluntarily in their free time. This may include allowing students to read with buddies. Matching struggling readers with someone who is a strong reader is a good idea because peers are much more patient about helping peers when reading together. Both readers are getting reading time and practice. The following lesson plans are helpful for working on fluency in the classroom.

Reading Fluency Lesson Plans:

Up, Up and Away With Fluency Grade Range

Students increase their reading fluency through the use of various strategies. After reviewing decoding and rereading, students complete an initial read of a novel text. Working with a partner, they read and complete a timed assessment of their words read per minute.

Did You Hear That? It Sounded Like Fluency

Students work to improve their reading fluency. With a partner, they read sentence strips and reread them to make the sentence more fluent and meaningful. Then, with a partner, they read and reread stories together and track their improvement through timed readings.

Lights, Camera, and Action!

Students practice strategies concerning the mastery of phonemes and decoding of words to become fluent readers with expression and emotion. This lesson encourages students to read expressively by pretending they are actors and actresses.