The FDL employs short reading passages (poems, story segments, or other texts) that students read and reread over a short period of time. The format for the lesson is:
- Students read a familiar passage from the previous lesson to the teacher or a fellow student for accuracy and fluency.
- The teacher introduces a new short text and reads it to the students two or three times while the students follow along. Text can be a poem, segment from a basal passage, or literature book, etc.
- The teacher and students discuss the nature and content of the passage.
- Teacher and students read the passage chorally several times. Antiphonal reading and other variations are used to create variety and maintain engagement.
- The teacher organizes student pairs. Each student practices the passage three times while his or her partner listens and provides support and encouragement.
- Individuals and groups of students perform their reading for the class or other audience.
- The students and their teacher choose 3 or 4 words from the text to add to the word bank and/or word wall.
- Students engage in word study activities (e.g. word sorts with word bank words, word walls, flash card practice, defining words, word games, etc.)
- The students take a copy of the passage home to practice with parents and other family members.
- Students return to school and read the passage to the teacher or a partner who checks for fluency and accuracy.
Source: The Fluent Reader by Timothy V. Rasinski, (Scholastic, 2003.)