ALEX Lesson Plan


Dividing Words Into Syllables to Develop Reading Fluency

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  This lesson provided by:  
Author:Brooke Ford
System: St Clair County
School: Ashville High School
  General Lesson Information  
Lesson Plan ID: 13198


Dividing Words Into Syllables to Develop Reading Fluency


Students will develop reading fluency using vocabulary from the book Why Mosquitos Buzz in People's Ears by Leo and Diane Dillon. Students will participate in reading the story using the reader's theatre strategy. After being introduced to multiple-syllable words students, will practice building fluency by reading those words in the context of the story.

 Associated Standards and Objectives 
Content Standard(s):
TC2 (3-5)
8. Collect information from a variety of digital sources.
Examples: online libraries, multimedia dictionaries
  • Using technology tools to organize information
  • Demonstrating efficient Internet search strategies
  • Example: keyword search
  • Evaluating electronic resources for reliability based on publication date, bias, accuracy, and source credibility
  • TC2 (3-5)
    10. Use digital environments to collaborate and communicate.
    Examples: publishing online journals, sharing presentations, contributing to online discussions, communicating with experts
  • Producing digital works collaboratively
  • Examples: developing shared writing projects and group multimedia projects
    ELA2015 (3)
    2. Recount stories, including fables, folktales, and myths from diverse cultures; determine the central message, lesson, or moral and explain how it is conveyed through key details in the text. [RL.3.2]
    ELA2015 (3)
    3. Describe characters in a story (e.g., their traits, motivations, or feelings) and explain how their actions contribute to the sequence of events. [RL.3.3]
    ELA2015 (3)
    20. Know and apply grade-level phonics and word analysis skills in decoding words. [RF.3.3]
    a. Identify and know the meaning of the most common prefixes and derivational suffixes. [RF.3.3a]
    b. Decode words with common Latin suffixes. [RF.3.3b]
    c. Decode multisyllable words. [RF.3.3c]
    d. Read grade-appropriate irregularly spelled words. [RF.3.3d]
    ELA2015 (3)
    24. Write narratives to develop real or imagined experiences or events using effective technique, descriptive details, and clear event sequences. [W.3.3]
    a. Establish a situation and introduce a narrator, characters, or both; organize an event sequence that unfolds naturally. [W.3.3a]
    b. Use dialogue and descriptions of actions, thoughts, and feelings to develop experiences and events or show the response of characters to situations. [W.3.3b]
    c. Use temporal words and phrases to signal event order. [W.3.3c]
    d. Provide a sense of closure. [W.3.3d]

    Local/National Standards:


    Primary Learning Objective(s):

    Students will develop reading fluency by applying phonetic analysis to multiple syllable words while reading the words during Reader's Theatre. Students will decode the words in the story using what they know about multiple-syllable words.

    Additional Learning Objective(s):

     Preparation Information 

    Total Duration:

    31 to 60 Minutes

    Materials and Resources:

    Why Mosquitos Buzz in People's Ears by Leo and Diane Dillon, one per student; copy of a graphic organizer for each student

    Technology Resources Needed:

    Computer with Internet access


    The copies of the story need to be coded according to the part for each character. The teacher will need to create a list of ten 1-syllable words, ten 2-syllable words, and ten 3-syllable words for the students to separate. The teacher should use vocabulary words, spelling words, etc.

    1.)Activate prior knowledge by introducing some 1, 2,and 3 syllable words that the children already know. Discuss how the vowel sound in words is broken into parts called syllables.

    2.)Write some words on the board (SmartBoard or use the overhead) and have the children figure out how many syllables each word has. Have students play a clapping game with the words. Have them clap once for each syllable in the word. Have each student clap a word to check for understanding.

    3.)Introduce the book, Why Mosquitoes Buzz in People's Ears. Tell the children that many of the words in this book have 3 syllables and may be harder to read.

    4.)Give the children an opportunity to look over the text. Ask them if they have found any words that are not known.

    5.)Tell them to use the strategy of breaking words into syllables for decoding.

    6.)Now tell the children that they will use what they know about syllables and read the story to a friend (students or the teacher may pick partners).

    7.)After the children have read the book, allow them to come back to a whole group and discuss the book.

    8.)Have the children participate in a play. (Reader's Theatre) Allow them to choose parts - if it is a large class it may be best to divide them up into groups to perform the story.

    9.)After children choose parts give them a chance to look at their part and they can make a costume or prop to go with their character.

    10.)Then the children will practice reading the story paying close attention to those words with more than 2 syllables.

    11.)After participating in Reader's Theatre, organize the children into groups of three. They will then use the graphic organizer supplied by the teacher to categorize ten 1-syllable words, ten 2-syllable words, and ten 3-syllable words. After they are finished they will share their findings with the class.
    (Four Column Chart)
    This chart will help students organize the 1-syllable words, 2-syllable words, and 3-syllable words.

    12.)For extra practice, students can visit the website below to practice identifying the number of syllables in words. The teacher may take a grade from the quiz if desired.
    This website allows students to participate in a syllable quiz to check their ability to break words down into syllables.

    13.)After students have had plenty of practice breaking words into syllables, assign a writing project. Have students write a story using at least 4 of the same 3-syllable words found in Why Mosquitoes Buzz in People's Ears. They will need to chose an animal from the story to use in their writing. They must list at least 2 facts about that animal in their writing. They may use the graphic organizer to help them.


    Assessment Strategies

    Students will be assessed through their participation pass/fail. Also, the story written will be assessed using a 4 point scale.
    4 - Excellent Paper- had multiple use of 3-syllable words, no more than 1-3 grammar mistakes, and valuable information on the animal;
    3- good paper - use of some 3-syllable words, no more than 3-5 grammar mistakes, some information on the animal;
    2- fair paper, many grammar mistakes, not much use of 3- syllable words, and not much information on the animal;
    1- below average, many grammar mistakes, no 3-syllable words, no information on the animal


    The lesson can be extended by adding the use of 4-syllable words or writing a paper with more detail on animals found on the Internet. Activities may be used in a social studies lesson to introduce the location of certain animals or in science to discuss the climate.



    Each area below is a direct link to general teaching strategies/classroom accommodations for students with identified learning and/or behavior problems such as: reading or math performance below grade level; test or classroom assignments/quizzes at a failing level; failure to complete assignments independently; difficulty with short-term memory, abstract concepts, staying on task, or following directions; poor peer interaction or temper tantrums, and other learning or behavior problems.

    Presentation of Material Environment
    Time Demands Materials
    Attention Using Groups and Peers
    Assisting the Reluctant Starter Dealing with Inappropriate Behavior
    Be sure to check the student's IEP for specific accommodations.