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Module 4 Activity Guide

Building strong foundations: developing early literacy skills. Module 4: creating fluent readers


Phrase-cued reading is an effective strategy for promoting fluent reading in early readers.  This activity allows participants to explicitly plan for phrase-cue instruction that supports their current students’ needs. Text should be selected for students at their independent level.

  • Time: 15 Minutes
  • Group Size: individual or grade level teams

Materials Needed

  • Text that will be used with targeted students 
  • Pens or markers
  • Poster paper


  • Laptop for retyping text in phrases

Young girl smiling at a book in a classroom setting


  1. Ask participants to take out the text they selected to prepare for phrase-cue practice with their students.
  2. Have participants mark the passage or a section of the passage using “scooping” to break the text into phrases. Remind participants to consider natural phrasing “chunks” such as noun phrases, verb phrases, prepositional phrases, etc., when dividing the passage. Example: Example of phrase-cued reading activity.
  3. Once participants have marked their passages for phrase cueing, ask them to decide how they will instruct students to practice for fluency. Will it be done with the whole group or a small group? Or individually? Will students have individual papers for practice, or will they read together from a larger example (poster board or projected text?)
  4. Once teachers have planned their method of instruction, give them a brief amount of time to develop a product for the lesson. These can be either phrases written and marked for “scooping” on poster paper or typed in a word processing document to print for individual students.

Alternative: A similar activity can also be done to focus on word or grapheme level fluency. In this case, the teacher may select words with a particular phonics pattern that will be the focus of a lesson, hopefully with a strong decodable text passage to practice the skill. In this case, the teacher would then select words from the text for students to  practice and develop a fluency RAN chart Phrase Fluency and Phrase-Cue Reading (Students read phrases and short sentences).


There are several instructional strategies that have been proven effective for building fluency in young readers. This activity provides an opportunity for participants to analyze their students’ needs and plan appropriate fluency strategies into their instruction.

  • Time: 20-30 minutes
  • Group size: individual or grade level teams

Materials Needed

  • Access to current student fluency data (such as an oral reading fluency measure)
  • Copies of (or electronic access to):
    • Evidence-Based Strategies for Fluency Building 
    • Instructional Options for Non-Prosodic Readers
    • A Snapshot of Fluency Across the Grade Levels
  • Access to text that students will be reading
  • Personal planning supplies (pens, paper, laptop, etc)


  1. Ask participants to review the most recent fluency data for their students. Consider:
    • Which students need support with accuracy? This should be a focus before rate.
    • Which students are accurate readers but need to improve fluency rate?
    • For students who are reading fluently, is there anyone who would benefit from strategies to support prosody?
    • Which students do NOT require additional fluency activities at this time?
  2. Plan for fluency instruction: using the documents provided in the links above, plan for targeted fluency instruction that supports the needs of each student. For example, a student who continues to need support with accurate reading may benefit from choral or echo reading built into their instructional time or may need to work on fluency at the word or even grapheme level; a student who is accurate but slow may benefit more from repeated readings.  
  3. Once participants have identified appropriate fluency strategies to support each student’s needs, discuss structures for successful classroom integration. Are there classroom structures that need to be taught, such as how to successfully use timers, give positive feedback, accept feedback, or get materials? How can the teacher ensure that the fluency activities are successful? How much time is available to provide quality fluency practice or instruction?
  4. Debrief.

About the Review Activities' Guide:

The activities detailed in this guide were compiled to complement the training in scientifically and evidence-based reading instruction provided through the Colorado Department of Education by Public Consulting Group (PCG). Options for activities are intended to review content and strengthen learning from the modules in the training and are listed in the Facilitator Guide. Some activity options include links to resources needed for the individual activity. Each optional activity consists of a materials list, approximate time required and group size recommended, and steps to completing the activity with participants.

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