Fluency for 4th & 5th Grades

What is Fluency?

Parent with child.

Fluency is the ability to read accurately with reasonable speed and expression while understanding what is read.

In 4th and 5th grades, readers can read aloud text, prose, and poetry, improving their reading rate, accuracy, and expression with each attempt. They can monitor their own comprehension and recognize when re-reading is necessary.

What Does it Look Like?

What does a fluent reader in 4th grade look like?

What does a fluent reader in 5th grade look like?

Practice Activities

Read Together: Select various types of texts/genres that are of interest to the child and read them together.

Recorded Reading: Create opportunities for the child to listen and read along with audio recordings.  The homepage of this website contains links to many free digital libraries or visit your local library and check out the book version so your child can read along.

Echo Reading: Model expression while reading to the child.  Then, have the child read the same sentence or phrase fluently.  This activity can also be used with books, poetry, lyrics, and more.  Watch Echo Reading.

Repeated Reading: Take turns reading passages or completing repeated readings of the same passage (my turn/your turn).

Fluent Phrases: Print or write out on notebook paper the lyrics of your child’s favorite songs in short phrase format.  Have your child practice reading a single line until it is read smoothly and with expression, then move onto the next.  This activity can also be done with poetry or rhyming books.

Act it Out!: Provide your child opportunities to act out a story, poem, or other text as if it were a play.  They can use/make props and select different voices for the characters.  This can assist your child in practicing appropriate pacing and expression while reading.

Model Reading Fluency: Use the following tips for Reading With Expression:

  • Read expressively: talk the way the story's characters would talk; make sound effects and funny faces; and vary the pitch of your voice throughout the story to make it more interesting.
  • Expressively reread when you notice words like “shouted”, “cried” or “laughed”.
  • Expressively reread when you notice the punctuation such as ! and ?.
  • Enjoy the time reading together! Do not rush.

Practice Activities (with Printables)

If you don't have a printer, your child's school will print these for you.

Give Me Five: Help the child improve their word speed and accuracy with this activity as they work to beat their personal record.  Give Me Five

Fleeting Phrases: Support speed and accuracy by having the child read phrases quickly.  Fleeting Phrases

Reading Chunks: Help the child improve fluency by practicing reading text that has been divided into meaningful chunks, then reread it fluently without separation.  Reading Chunks

Reader's Theater: Assign parts of reader theater's scripts to family members and friends or have the child read each character's lines with expression.  Reader's Theater

Online Activities

Say What: This game provides a space for children to create their own silly stories, blindly choosing from nouns, verbs, adjectives, and adverbs. Read the story created and reread to increase fluency.

Online Libraries: Free Digital Library Resources Collections of free online books.