Lesson plan

Fluency and Comprehension Boot Camp!

Get a workout with repeat reading activities! Use this lesson plan with your students to practice reading fluency and build comprehension and summary details using fiction classics.
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Students will be able to practice their reading fluency and comprehension with repeated readings and summary updates.

(5 minutes)
  • Recruit two student volunteers to demonstrate a reading fluency procedure: one person will be the reader and the other will be a timer.
  • On your signal, have the reader begin reading the passage aloud and the timer will call "time" at 30 seconds, signaling for the reader to stop. The class will listen closely for which word the reader ends on.
  • After "time" is called, evaluate the number of words the reader covered in 30 seconds and multiply that number by two. Announce that this is the reader’s words-per-minute score. Note there is no credit for words skipped in the reading!
  • Announce to your students that during this lesson, they will practice reading a passage with a partner to find out their own fluency score. Fluency is the term we use to describe reader clarity, pacing, and intonation. This is the opposite of no fluency: choppy, slow, monotone.
  • Demonstrate to your students strong and weak fluency by reading 2-3 sentences using the appropriate affect.
(10 minutes)
  • Show your class the Reading for Fluency: The Golden Bird activity on an overhead projector.
  • Choose a student to time your reading of the passage for 30 seconds and read the passage aloud.
  • After the timer calls “time,” demonstrate how to calculate your words-per-minute (wpm) score.
  • Think aloud while writing a summary of what you recall from the reading. It’s important not to review the passage, but to only write what you can recall.
  • Announce that you will read the passage again, this time in an effort to increase your words per minute score. Repeat the process.
  • Demonstrate how to note your second words-per-minute score, change writing utensils, and add any new detailed information to the summary from memory.
  • Point out to your students that the goal is to observe how your words-per-minute score changed and what additional information you were able to add after the second reading.
(15 minutes)
  • Pair up your students for the activity, and assign each pair to have a "one" and a "two."
  • Hand out, preview, and complete the first reading round and summary writing with your class. The "ones" will read first and "twos" will be timers. Note that readers may skip words if they choose, but they will be deducted from their overall wpm score.
  • Have your students reverse their roles to complete the second round.
(10 minutes)
  • Hand out and have your students complete the Reading for Fluency: The Jungle Book activity in pairs.


  • Time for readings may be adjusted for shorter or longer reading times. Students may read for 15 seconds and multiply their wpm score by 4, or read for 60 seconds and note the exact amount for the wpm score.
  • Instead of changing colors to add more detailed information on the summary second pass, students may simply skip a line to show where information was added.


  • Teach your students how to track more detailed reading mistakes (e.g., skipping words, mispronouncing words, inserting words during reading).
  • Have students complete the Reading for Fluency: Through the Looking-Glass activity.
  • Use a projector and a computer with Internet access to display the online timer to coordinate reading rounds throughout the lesson.
  • An overhead or document projector with a cell phone timer app also can be used to coordinate reading rounds throughout the lesson.
  • Circulate the room during independent reading time and note fluency scores for your students (these are more qualitative notes rather than quantitative). Observe student reading behaviors in addition to noting their fluency scores.
  • Circulate during independent work time and pull students to read for 15 seconds and note reading behaviors on your roster T-chart.
  • Collect and review student summaries for comprehension and writing assessment.
(10 minutes)
  • View the Reading Fluency video with your students (optional but recommended if resources are available).
  • DISCUSS: How are themes, truths, or experiences of characters from stories of other places and time alike or different from our own?

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