Sunday, July 20, 2014

Lesson Plan: Fluency & Echo Choral Reading

The following lesson was co-planned with Matt W. and Rachel D.  The lesson uses echo choral reading to help elementary students with reading fluency. The lesson includes background information on reading fluently.

Strategy Lesson: Fluency Using Echo Choral Reading
Grade Level: 2 (can be adapted for other grade levels)


Fluent reading is the ability for students to read text accurately with no grammatical errors.  Students are able to read text without taking long pauses in between words and are able to fully recite sentences as they appear in the text. Fluent reading also means that if the student makes any errors they are usually small grammatical errors and they are able to fix them up themselves through self-correction.

The strategy we are going to use to demonstrate fluent reading in classmates is choral or echo reading. This strategy is great to allow students to develop fluent reading strategies since the technique helps students to develop a stronger vocabulary including sight words as well as how to properly phrase and construct sentences through learned repetition.


In order to model the process of choral/echo reading, we chose to read aloud the following poem ("My Shadow") to the class line by line. This exercise will start with the teacher reading one line of the poem at a time and then the students will repeat the line back as a method of call and response. Once the students become more and more used to this strategy, the teacher will move throughout the poem at a faster rate while keeping the students repeating every line in the poem.  The teacher will model this strategy for a few select texts while speeding up the pace to prepare the students to read the poem independently.

Guided Practice:

Then, the entire class will read the poem together in unison, showing the fluency styles that the teacher showed through her reading and modeling.

Next, students will be paired with a partner.  With their partner, students will do a choral/echo reading of the poem “My Shadow.”  One partner will read the lines while the other partner repeats.  Once the students finish the poem, they will switch roles so each student has a chance to read and repeat the lines.

While the students complete this activity, the teacher will walk around and monitor the students.  The teacher will also assist students when needed.

Independent Practice/Application:

The ability to be able to read to oneself is one of the most satisfying components of reading.  Once the student has mastered decoding skills, then the next step to becoming a fluent reader is learning to silent read.  It is essential that students are able to read silently because they are then able to be independent readers where they can enhance their skills.  Reading silently will increase the automaticity, pace, and ease that the child reads as well as a love for voluntary reading. 

To practice independent reading, students can read first by whisper reading.  Whisper reading can be explained to students by saying whisper reading sounds like you are telling a secret and that no one else should be able to hear what you are reading.  Then students can practice reading while only moving their lips.  Students can read by only moving their lips and not making a sound.  Lastly, students can then move into practicing to read silently.  This requires no sound and no lip movement.  Only eyes are following the words.   

Progress Monitoring:

As the children are reading, the teacher can call them each up to meet when they’ve had enough practice.  The teacher will pick a page in the book and have the student first read aloud, then whisper read, then silently read while moving lips, and then read silently.  This check list can be used for each student:
 Reads aloud fluently  ___
 Reads in a whisper  ___
 Reads while moving lips ___
                         Reads silently ___

Monitoring in this way should happen several times throughout the reading process.


Ask the class to explain how the class went through the process of reading “My Shadow.”  Have a few students raise their hand to share their responses.  Look for answers that include listening, repeating, following along, etc.

Then, have students do a think-pair share with a partner.  Ask: “What did you notice about the tone of your voice during your readings?  What did you notice about the speed of your reading?”  After the students discuss with a partner, have a few students share their answers.

The teacher will briefly state that the students used an choral/echo reading strategy to help their fluency while reading.  Briefly explain that fluency is the ability to read with speed, accuracy, and expression.  Briefly mention that fluency helps us understand and comprehend our readings. 

Ask the class if the choral/echo reading helped them understand the poem better.  Have the students give a thumbs up or thumbs down signal.


While doing the choral/echo reading with a partner during guided practice, students can act out or draw the lines that they just heard their partner read before repeating them.  Also, students should be carefully paired so that they can receive assistance from their partner, since working with others is a form of differentiation.

Another method of differentiation would occur in a pull-out resource room for Tier II or Tier III students. The student would listen to audio of a book or poem being read on tape along with a one-on-one instructor who would hit the pause button after every line was said on the audio recording. The one-on-one instructor would have the student record their own voice reciting the audio back line by line as a meaning of call and response to show that the student is able to recite the audio clips. The instructor can use these recordings of the student’s voice to measure how accurately the student was able to recite the text after listening to it first hand.

To differentiate independent practice, students can use “whisper phones.”  They are tubes taped together to make a phone-like shape.  When whispering into the device, students will also be able to hear their fluency.

A Power Point version of the lesson plan can be found here:

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