5 Books to Develop Fluency in Young Readers

Posted on February 8, 2024

by Kate M

Fluency is the ability to read with the speed, accuracy, and inflection needed to approximate natural speech patterns. As children strengthen their ability to read with fluency, they strengthen their ability to comprehend what they are reading. Try these resources as you help strengthen your growing readers fluency. Also, search for printable mini books, reader’s theatre, and fluency poems by your child’s grade or reading level through Scholastic Teachables.

For more support and a free kit of literacy materials for your birth through third-grade children, request a training with the Library’s Ready to Read Team.

Build Reading Fluency: Practice and Performance with Readers' Theater and More

Build Reading Fluency: Practice and Performance with Reader’s Theater and More by Timothy V. Rasinski

For more evidence on the importance of fluency as it relates to strengthening reading, look no further than expert advice from Tim Rasinski. While written for teachers in the classroom, Rasinski offers great insight, practical strategies, and coaching tips that parents can implement with their own children.

Act It Out with Readers’ Theatre: Building Fluency with Multilevel Plays! by Kathryn Wheeler

Repeated practice, like the kind actors do while studying and performing their lines, promotes great inflectional reading.  Wheeler provides nine complete readers’ theatre scripts to be read and rehearsed by young readers.

Elephants Cannot Dance! by Mo Willems

Not enough children to perform a readers’ theatre? That’s okay. Great “scripts” for fluency practice are all around. Try dialogue-driven books like Elephant and Piggie. Take turns pretending to be the positively encouraging Piggie, who attempts to convince a rather reluctant Gerald to try dancing. After several practice readings, add sock puppets or create printable paper bag puppets to put on a reading success show. Just remember to read with great emotions the way Gerald and Piggie would.

Llama Llama Loves to Read by Anna Dewdney

Hearing and then practicing fluent reading can strengthen fluency. Check out Wonderbooks, like this one. Wonderbooks are a traditional print book with a recorded audiobook built into the book cover. Children can practice fluent reading by reading aloud with the narrator.

Increasing Fluency with High Frequency Word Phrases Grade 1 by Timothy V. Rasinski

Building automatic recognition of high-frequency words leads to reading with greater accuracy and speed, resulting in more fluent reading. Rather than using flashcards to memorize, research tells us that children build greater accuracy through repeated readings of high-frequency words in context. This book provides 20 lessons with short passages, activities, and comprehension questions to support reading success. Additional grade levels are also available through hoopla.

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