Text That Makes It Easier to Develop Fluency
Selecting just the right text is the first step in developing fluency. Look for these types of books in your school library:
- Text written in natural language patterns. The ideal text sounds like real language when read aloud (Richards, 2000).
- Predictable pattern books for beginners. Predictable books use the same language pattern over and over again. Beginning readers quickly pick up the predictable pattern, and this, in turn, supports fluent reading. If you find that some children overrely on the repeated patterns and overlook text, encourage children to focus on text by asking them to show you (point to) each word as it is read. Another idea is to have a small group read in chorus and then ask individuals to read designated sentences.
- Rhyming poetry, limericks, and rhyming stories. Rhyme patterns give the reader a sense of where to pause between phrases. Rhyming poetry appeals to children of all ages and is therefore a good choice for developing fluency from kindergarten through sixth grade.
- Lyrics to popular songs or favorite tunes. Many songs have lyrics that support reading expressively and in phrases. Look for songs with natural language patterns. And, of course, ask children for suggestions.
- Plays. Look for plays with a clear-cut plot that tells a compelling story. The lines for characters should give readers bite-size bits of text that lend themselves to oral interpretation.
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