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Lesson Plan

Improving Fluency through Group Literary Performance

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Improving Fluency through Group Literary Performance

Grades K – 2
Lesson Plan Type Standard Lesson
Estimated Time Five 50-minute sessions
Lesson Author

Devon Hamner

Devon Hamner

Grand Island, Nebraska


National Council of Teachers of English



Featured Resources

From Theory to Practice



Bill Martin, Jr's picture books are known for their creative use of language. In this lesson, the repetition, rhythm, and rhyme of Martin's works provide opportunities for students to hear fluent reading modeled before participating in the readings through literary performance. By inviting students to participate in the shared and choral reading, the lesson provides students the chance to focus their fluency and comprehension. The readers theater section of the lesson allows students to demonstrate for an audience, while improving their literacy skills further.

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As teachers, we know how important language is to young children. This knowledge shapes our teaching. But, how do authors use this knowledge? In his Sounds of Language teacher's editions, Bill Martin writes, "It should not surprise you to know that even at the first grade level, a child is already something of an expert in analyzing language, a fact overlooked in most reading programs. . . . The aim is to help him become aware of what he intuitively knows about language, and to help him explore and verbalize old and new learnings" (Martin & Brogan 2-3). This insight into young children literacy knowledge and acquisition is apparent in Martin's books.

This lesson focuses on tapping and building on the language skills that students have by participating in collaborative activities. As supported by Vygotsky's language and learning theories, this lesson's focus on social interaction nudges students toward the "zone of proximal development." By group literary performance, students move toward learning and development that the student"can accomplish-with adult guidance or help of a more capable peer-what the child could not accomplish alone" (Dale 2).

Further Reading

Dale, Helen. 1997. Co-Authoring in the Classroom: Creating an Environment for Effective Collaboration. Urbana, IL: NCTE.

Read more about this resource


Martin, Bill, Jr., and Peggy Brogan. 1974. Sounds in the Wind. Teacher's ed. New York: Holt, Rinehart, & Winston.

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