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Lesson Plan

Third Grade Fluency Lesson


English Language Arts (NYS P-12 Common Core)


The student will increase words read per minute.


  • Purpose
Explain purpose to the student.

Teacher: "It is important for you to become a fluent reader. A fluent reader can read quickly and with good expression. Fluent readers usually understand and remember what they've read better than students who read slowly and without expression. Anyone can become a fluent reader with practice. Today, I am going to teach you some fun ways to improve your fluency."

  • Procedure
Teacher explains use of highlighters and blue crayons and then assigns independent, silent reading.

T: "You each have a blue and red crayon and a graph to record your words per minute. You will first read your selection silently as I time you for one minute. When you are done you will record your total words per minute on your bar graph with your blue crayon. This is called a 'cold' read. That means you have had no practice reading this before."

T: "You will now read your selection silently as I time you for one minute. When I say stop, place a slash after the last word you have read. You will then count your total number of words and record the number at the bottom of your page."

  • Set a Goal
After students have read their "cold" read for one minute and counted their words, explain "setting a goal".

T: "Now that you know how many words per minute you can read on a "cold" read we are going to set a goal. A good goal would be l0% more than you read for your 'cold' read." (Provide examples of this.)

  • Guided Practice
Teacher will model fluency building strategies. First teacher will model fluent reading of the student's text. Discuss the use of expression, phrasing and pacing after the read.

T: "What did you notice about my voice as I read? What did you notice about how quickly I read? Did I read so fast that I wouldn't remember what I read, or too slow? Did anyone notice how I grouped some words together as I read?" etc.

T: "Now we will practice a few strategies that will help you become a more fluent reader. The first one is called 'echo reading.' That means after I read a sentence, you will repeat that sentence back to me, using my pacing and expression." Practice echo reading for passage.

T: "Another strategy to improve fluency is called 'partner reading.' We will now practice reading the passage together, reading it at the same time." Read the passage together.

  • Independent Practice
T: "Now you will re-read your passage independently. I will time you once again, for one minute. When I say stop you will count your words read per minute and record your number on your page. This time, however, you will record your number on your bar graph in red. That's because this is a 'hot' read. We call it a 'hot' read because you have practiced this passage several times."

Student reads passage one final time, record their words per minute and graph their final score in read.


In order to reach the ultimate goal of reading (comprehension), fluency skills must be addressed directly. Research indicates that repeated readings at a student's independent level markedly improve fluency skills. Furthermore, a repeated reading of "4" re-reads is desired.


Reading material at the student's independent reading level. (Two xeroxed pages of text so the student may write on it.) One red and one blue crayon. A bar graph with intervals from 0-150.


Discuss how repeated readings help improve fluency. Ask students to compare their "cold" read with their "hot" read. Ask students to raise hands if they met their "goal." Check graphs to assess improvement and place graph in student portfolio for future readings.

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