Reading Without Limits

Maddie Witter

Using Picture Books to Teach Fluency for All Ages

Reading Without LimitsFluency, or the ability to read aloud with appropriate speed and cadence, can be a ton of fun to teach.

I recommend explicitly teaching students bite-sized fluency objectives one at a time:

1.  To pause appropriately at different punctuation

2.  To change inflection based on different end marks

3.  To read with appropriate speed

4.  To read in ‘chunks’ with proper phrasing

5.  To read with proper expression for narrators and characters

6   To hear when you make a blunder and go back and fix it

Gather a heap of picture books.  Ask kids to choose one that they’d like to read-aloud.  You choose one, too!

Each day model one of the strategies above.  First, model what the strategy looks like when done well.  Then, model what the strategy looks like when not done well.  For instance, when modeling reading with proper expression, if not done well it would be read with a robot voice.  Ask students to identify the differences between your two read-alouds.  Then, ask kids to give it a try (with your book or their own) doing it the right way and the non-example way.  This will help solidify what they should be doing.  Then, for independent work they launch off to do the strategy on their own, reading aloud with their picture book.

The above way to model uses the gradual release of responsibility.  Here’s another way!  Start by modeling the way that you did above (using the example and non-example method).  Then, give a one page passage to your kids.  Cut it up into paragraphs.  Partner students up.  The first student reads, then gets feedback (regarding the day’s objective) from their partner.  That same student rereads applying the feedback.  Partners switch.


Find spaces for kids to do this comfortably.  It will get loud… 30 kids reading aloud isn’t quiet.  But, it’s fun!  The end of the unit caps off with kids reading aloud the picture book to the class or small groups, like they are the teacher.  It’s pretty adorable.

Reading Without Limits

3 comments on “Using Picture Books to Teach Fluency for All Ages

  1. overlandwithkids.Com
    May 19, 2013

    Very nice write-up. I definitely appreciate this
    site. Thanks!

    • Maddie
      May 19, 2013


  2. christmas decorations
    June 28, 2013

    Thanks for ones marvelous posting! I genuinely
    enjoyed reading it, you could be a great author. I will remember to bookmark your blog and will often come back down the road.
    I want to encourage continue your great posts, have
    a nice holiday weekend!

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

Follow Maddie on Twitter

%d bloggers like this: