Lesson: Reading Stamina

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Lesson Objective

Students will read independently for a prolonged amount of time to practice reading stamina.

Lesson Plan

Connection (3-5 mins):  Readers, I can remember when I was in fifth grade I always had trouble sticking to a book and really reading for long periods of time.  I would sometimes stare off into space or keep reading but not really understand what I was reading because I was thinking about something else.  This was because I was not practicing reading stamina.  Today, we will think about why we need breaks when reading and ways to improve our stamina as readers.


Teach (10-12 mins): Reading stamina is how long you can read with focus.  We spend time each day reading independently at our seats.  During this time, I expect you to be engaged with your books and be thinking deeply about what you are reading.  This means we are not just word calling, or flipping through pages at our seats. 


Even as an adult readers I sometimes find myself zoning out of a book and not really thinking about what I am reading.  This is okay and it happens to everyone.  The goal is that when this happens we stop and take a break before beginning to read again.  It is also important that we go back and re-read the parts of the book that we were not focused on during our work time. 


Have you ever been reading at your seat and realized that you weren’t focused on your reading?  What was distracting you or why were you not focused?  Think for a minute and then turn to tell your partner why you weren’t focused.  Students turn and talk while teacher listens in to conversations.  Teacher charts students’ responses.


Today, I want us to practice our reading stamina.  When you return to your seats, you will be given an exit slip to record your reading time.  You will need to write what time you start reading ( I provide stop watches for those students who have difficulty with time) and what time you needed a break.  You will need to think about why you decided to take a break and be really honest with yourself as a reader.  At the end of workshop time, each of you will have a chance to write down how long you read for the day.  Our goal is that everyone can read for fifteen minutes but remember each of us have our own ways of learning and not everyone is starting from the same place.  Off you go readers.


Active Engagement (15-20 mins): Students should return to their seats to work independently.  They should each have a “just right” book at their desk to read and will be required to fill out an exit slip during the lesson.  Teacher should circulate during this time to conference with students or pull a small group.


Exit Slip/Share (3-5 mins): After workshop time, students will fill out the exit slip form. They may also fill this out during workshop time if they take a break.  This form requires them to think about their reading stamina and reasons for taking a break.  Teacher can use this as an evaluation of students and their ability to sustain silent reading.


Reflection: Reading stamina is very difficult for my fifth grade students.  I notice that unless I am providing positive feedback my students are off task during silent reading time.  Some of my students who needed extra support, were given stop watches to record their reading.  I think this helped them maintain their focus.  I would suggest using this lesson periodically throughout the year when you notice students losing focus during independent reading time.

Lesson Resources

Reading Stamina Exit Slip.doc  


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