4th Grade Reading Fluency Passages:11 Stories For Literacy (2023)

Practicing reading comprehension, oral reading fluency, and close reading is a crucial part of the puzzle when it comes to teaching literacy, but sometimes, it’s majorly time consuming to find high-interest materials.

No worries, though! I’ve gathered up 11 entertaining 4th grade reading fluency passages to help you ignite student engagement and kindle a love for reading.

Some are entertaining, while others teach fourth graders lessons about life, history, and how to handle tough social situations. These passages help improve oral reading fluency and accuracy while encouraging close reading.

1. Picture Day

4th Grade Reading Fluency Passages:11 Stories For Literacy (1)

This reading comprehension passage tells a story about a girl who wakes up on picture day, not sure what she wants to wear. She ultimately chooses a navy blue suit out of her brother’s closet. She slicks her hair back in a ponytail.

Her family disapproved at first but then realized the suit looked better on her than the dress her mother had chosen. Her dad helped her tie a tie, and when she got her pictures taken later that day, she felt much more comfortable.

The comprehension questions for this passage help the teacher determine if the student understands the story’s main idea.

2. What To Say

Students will practice building fluency as they read about Jaiven, who finds out his friend Noah’s grandmother died. Jaiven isn’t sure what to say to his friend, so he checks Google for answers, but it’s not helpful.

The following day, Jaiven gets ready for the funeral. He sees Noah sitting on his front porch as he’s getting ready. He asks his mother if he can visit him. Jaiven goes over and sits next to him silently. He believed Noah was still sad but felt his presence helped him.

3. So, You Think You Can’t Dance?

4th Grade Reading Fluency Passages:11 Stories For Literacy (2)

(Video) Reading Exercises Level 4: Grade 4 Reading Passages to Improve the Speed and Fluency in Reading

Improve reading rate while introducing the concept of themes to your fourth graders with “So, You Think You Can’t Dance?”

At the beginning of this reading passage, Lakiesha just completed what she thought was a disastrous ballet class. She couldn’t master the steps others seemed to take with no problems. She even saw other students laughing at her.

When her big sister arrives, she knows something’s wrong. Lakeisha tells her about the horrible dance class. Julissa reminds her that not every day is perfect, and the most important thing to do is try.

They watched two teen boys doing breakdancing and hip-hop moves as they headed home. Without thinking, Lakiesha pulled one boy’s cap off, turned it inside out, and gave it to him. He ducked just as it landed on his head.

As they approached the schoolyard, they heard the sounds of kids doing Double Dutch jump rope. Lakeisha’s sister pushed her in, and she started moving as the ropes whirled around her. When they reached their apartment building later, her sister threw her arm around her shoulders and reminded her that everyone has off days.

4. The Meaning of My Lunch

Practice grade level oral reading while pointing out themes of empathy, multiculturalism, and tradition with “The Meaning of My Lunch.”

When this passage begins, Nilsa is thinking about lunch because her mother made her favorite soup – sancocho de gallina. When lunchtime arrives, she gets strange looks when she pours some soup. It looks and smells terrible to her classmates.

She doesn’t feel hungry after hearing what they have to say. Later, she asks her mother why she made her take that lunch. Nilsa loves this dish, so her mother is startled by this question.

Nilsa explains that it tastes and smells different from the foods her friends eat. Her mother suggests that Nilsa explain the dish to her classmates and tell them it tastes excellent.

Nilsa asks her mother to show her how to make it. They make another batch that night, and Nilsa takes it to school the next day. Many of her lunchtime friends are turned off by it, but some of them try it anyway. Some love it, some don’t, and others are in the middle.

(Video) Learning Game - Reading Comprehension For Beginners

5. Giving Thanks Around The World

4th Grade Reading Fluency Passages:11 Stories For Literacy (3)

This 4th-grade reading fluency passage gives students more practice identifying main ideas and it prepares them for taking on the reading of 4th grade books. Students interested in global holidays will love reading about the different takes on days dedicated to gratitude around the world.

It explains the different ways people show thanks around the world. It starts by describing Chuseok, the Korean Thanksgiving day, a 3-day long festival where Koreans gather with their families to give thanks to their ancestors and share food.

It also describes Erntedankfest, Germany’s harvest thanksgiving feast, held the first Sunday in October, and Pongal, the four-day harvest celebration of people in southern India and Sri Lanka.

6. Model T – First Day At The Factory

Give your fourth-grade reader a glimpse into the past as they spend a day in the life of a new worker at the Ford factory.

Each person at the factory has a different job on a conveyor belt. The narrator has to smooth the pinion gear’s edges. The manager shows him how. When he finishes, the narrator puts the gear on the conveyor belt.

Though the work sounds easy, it isn’t easy. He stands for eight hours a day. The guys ahead of him complain when he is slow.

He leaves the factory in the evening. He doesn’t want to do the same thing every day. If his family didn’t need the money, he wouldn’t return. However, Ford pays better than anyone in town, so he stays.

After reading, consider talking about the bigger ideas associated with the story. A middle school student who is below the expected reading level may surprise you with their insight into doing things they don’t want to do for the sake of family, as this is often the age when kids have more responsibility in the home.

7. Big TV Moments

4th Grade Reading Fluency Passages:11 Stories For Literacy (4)

(Video) 11. A Classwide Reading Intervention that Works | 2022 Literacy Symposium

While watching epic world events take place on television is nothing new to this generation, you can use the concept to work on fluent reading or paired reading, then ask students to discuss what it would have been like to see something incredible and horrifying before smartphones and the internet made everything so accessible.

For example, the “Big TV Moments” 4th grade reading passage describes the Space Shuttle Challenger launch in 1986. The narrator watched the launch on television that day because he was at home.

He explains how each rocket booster attached to the shuttle launched it into the air. Once they’ve done their job, they separate from the shuttle and fall back to Earth. Instead of falling back to Earth, in this case, the boosters blew away from the shuttle, and it exploded.

8. Bowlers For Baseball

For 4th-grade sports fans, “Bowlers for Baseball” tells the story of JB Bernstein, an American who worked in baseball. He went to India to find cricket players who could learn baseball in the U.S. J.B. filmed a reality T.V. show in India. Everyone threw a baseball at a target – the fastest thrower won.

Rinku Singh won, and Dinesh Patel came in second. J.B. helped them move to the U.S. and trained them as pitchers. He hoped they could make it onto a Major League Baseball team. Eventually, Major League Baseball teams hired them when they tried out in front of scouts.

9. East Of The Sun And West Of The Moon

Fantasy and fluency practice go hand-in-hand, especially when the story has a comfortable and familiar fairytale pattern, but a whole new plot line that engages student interest.

“East of the Sun and West of the Moon” is a Norwegian fairy tale about a poor man with a big family. He can only keep them all if he sends his youngest, prettiest daughter to live with a bear in a palace. He sends her there, not realizing that the bear is a man who has had a spell cast on him.

If his daughter, Helga, can wait a year, the spell will be broken, and they’ll be able to live happily ever after. Some things happen during the story that almost stop this, but the spell ends up being broken.

You can complement this tale with simple 4th grade poems that also depict typical fantasy scenarios, so your students will feel engaged in the story while experimenting with reading in a new format.

10. Mohawk Culture

Another winner for burgeoning history buffs and fashionistas alike, “Mohawk Culture” dives into the history of the mohawk.

(Video) Reading Comprehension for Kids | How to Read for Meaning

The hairstyle takes its name from the Mohawk Indian tribe. Warriors from the Mohawk tribe shaved their heads before battle, leaving a thin strip down the middle. Their enemies called them a mohawk, meaning”man-eaters,” in reference to their ferocity and bravery in battle.

Many decades later, the mohawk made its way into the emerging punk scene in the 1970s. Punks rebelled against the conventional ways of dressing and behaving by wearing mohawks.

By the 1980s, a lot more people had mohawks. Then, they disappeared for about 25 years but came back in the early 2000s. They’re still considered fierce. However, now “fierce” has a more positive meaning.

11. Raised by Dogs

This passage tells the story of a girl born in Ukraine in 1983. She lived in a small village but was thrown out of the house because her mother wanted a boy. She lived among dogs, which became her friends. She learned to bark and act like them.

Five years passed before the neighbors noticed. They told the police, who investigated and found Oxana acting like a dog. She went to a special home where she learned to speak and act like a human.

She now lives in a special needs home, where she cares for cows and works with horses.

Wrap Up

Practicing reading fluency can feel like a chore for struggling students, especially if the content doesn’t spark their interest.

By combining the right topics with daily practice, you’ll soon see improvements in your fluency assessment results and in your student’s enjoyment of reading. I hope this list of 4th grade reading fluency passages gives you a good starting point and saves you a little planning time down the road!

Last Updated on May 14, 2022 by Emily


What is the reading fluency passage for 4th grade? ›

By fourth grade your child should be reading a minimum of 93 w.p.m. (words per minute) at the beginning of the year. Students progress to a reading rate of 105 w.p.m. (words per minute) by mid-year. As the fourth grade year comes to a close, your child should be reading at least 118 w.p.m (words per minute).

How many words per minute should a fourth grader be able to read? ›

The average reading rates for kids in grades 1-3 are 80 words per minute, 115 words per minute, and 138 words per minute respectively. Grade 4 and 5 kids have 158 and 173 words per minute, respectively. Lastly, grade 6 students have an average reading speed of 185 words per minute.

How do you do reading fluency passages? ›

What is Fluency?
  1. Select a reading passage and set a timer for 60 seconds.
  2. Read aloud. ...
  3. Mark the spot in the passage when the timer stops.
  4. Count the words in the selection of the passage that was read. ...
  5. Subtract the Problem Words from WPM to determine ACCURACY of words read.
  6. Divide the accuracy by the WPM.
Feb 12, 2018

What does a 4th grade reading level look like? ›

Fourth graders typically fall between a 20 to 30 reading level depending on the leveling framework. Use different text types, allow them time to read independently. Encourage them forming opinions on what they read. Follow their interests, it helps motivate them to read.

How do I help my 4th grader with reading comprehension? ›

6 Strategies to Improve Reading Comprehension
  1. Have them read aloud. ...
  2. Provide books at the right level. ...
  3. Reread to build fluency. ...
  4. Talk to the teacher. ...
  5. Supplement their class reading. ...
  6. Talk about what they're reading.
Aug 30, 2022

How can I help a struggling reader in 4th grade? ›

12 Ways To Boost 4th Grade Reading Comprehension
  1. Color-code your thinking. ...
  2. Try think-alouds. ...
  3. Watch a story-elements rap video. ...
  4. Play a round of reading comprehension Jenga. ...
  5. Beef up vocabulary skills. ...
  6. Practice using context clues. ...
  7. Find creative ways to respond to reading. ...
  8. Learn about close-reading strategies.
Jul 6, 2022

What activities will promote fluency in reading? ›

Activities for students to increase fluency. There are several ways that your students can practice orally rereading text, including student-adult reading, choral (or unison) reading, tape-assisted reading, partner reading, and readers' theatre.

What strategy most directly improves reading fluency? ›

The direct approach: Repeated readings

In repeated reading, children work on reading as they would work at making music: They continue working with each text until it is fluent. Repeated reading works best with readers who have reached at least a primer instructional level.

How long should a 4th grader read each day? ›

“Students benefit greatly from a regular reading routine that involves at least 30 minutes of daily reading,” Parrasch says. “Ideally, students should be reading a variety of genres — or at the very least, a mix of fiction and nonfiction.

How many pages per minute should a 4th grader read? ›


What is the average reading wpm for a 10 year old? ›

Average Reading Speed by Age and Grade Level
Grade Level and AgeWords-Per-Minute
4th Grade (Spring) 9-10 years old123 – 180 wpm
5h Grade (Spring) 10-11 years old139 – 194 wpm
6th-8th Grade (Spring) 11, 12, 13, 14 years old150 – 204 wpm
Highschool 14, 15, 16, 17, 18 years old200 – 300 wpm
5 more rows

What are the 6 essential components for reading fluency? ›

Research has shown that there are six key components that contribute to successful beginning reading. Because of the importance of these components, they have become known as the 'Big Six': oral language, phonological awareness, phonics, vocabulary, fluency and comprehension.

How do you use fluency passages in the classroom? ›

How to Use Fluency Practice Passages
  1. One-on-One: Read the Fluency Practice Passage aloud so the student can hear fluent reading. Have the student read the passage. ...
  2. Independent Timed Reading: Give the student a stopwatch to time the reading. ...
  3. Paired Readings: Have students work in pairs and time each other.

What is a good Lexile score for a 4th grader? ›

The average 4th grader will have a Lexile score of 445L to 810L. However, this is true for around 50% of students, with around 25% being below the average, while the other 25% are likely to be above the average. The same study showcased that students can be up to 250L above or below the average.

What reading level is Harry Potter? ›

The Harry Potter book series is Middle Grade, not YA (Young Adult). This means it is generally written for children ages 8-12 and grade levels 3-7.

What is a good Lexile score? ›

Lexile measures are represented by a number followed by an “L” (such as “800L”) and range from below 0L for beginning readers to above 1600L. Research shows that 1300L or above is the target Lexile measure for students to be ready for college and career in reading.

What is the best order to teach reading comprehension skills? ›

The steps of explicit instruction typically include direct explanation, teacher modeling ("thinking aloud"), guided practice, and application.
  • Direct explanation. The teacher explains to students why the strategy helps comprehension and when to apply the strategy.
  • Modeling. ...
  • Guided practice. ...
  • Application.

What activities help with reading comprehension? ›

5 Activities to Improve Reading Comprehension
  • Look for the 5 W's (and How) when you read. Who – The nouns or subjects: people and things. ...
  • Look for descriptors when you read. ...
  • Visualize what you read. ...
  • Take notes with a graphic organizer and draw pictures as you read. ...
  • Ask yourself questions as you read.
Oct 29, 2018

What is the best intervention for struggling readers? ›

The most commonly used strategy to improve reading fluency is the reading and rereading of familiar texts. Opportunities to read aloud, with guidance from teachers, peers or parents, are also associated with the development of fluent reading.

What are the 7 strategies of reading? ›

The seven strategies of highly skilled readers include activating, summarizing, monitoring and clarifying, visualizing and organizing, searching and selecting, questioning, and inferring.

What are the 5 strategies for reading? ›

This panel concluded that there are five essential elements of effective reading instruction, commonly known as the “Five Pillars of Reading”. These pillars include phonics, phonemic awareness, fluency, vocabulary and comprehension strategies.

What are some good activities to improve students English fluency? ›

The key to improving your English? Practice, of course! try these 14 English speaking practice exercises to build your confidence.
  • Make special time for reading.
  • Read English books, magazines, and articles.
  • Change the language on your phone to English.
  • English writing exercises. Create your vocabulary list. Describe pictures.
5 days ago

How do children increase reading fluency? ›

Help your child decode words well, help him or her build speed and accuracy by:
  1. Reading aloud and having your child match his voice to yours.
  2. Having your child practice reading the same list of words, phrase, or short passages several times.
  3. Reminding your child to pause between sentences and phrases.

Which of the following activities practice fluency? ›

Examples of fluency activities are conversations, roleplays, debates and projects.

What causes reading fluency problems? ›

Insufficient time and practice reading connected text with accuracy once basic decoding is secured. Insufficient exposure to and practice with fluent, expressive oral reading. A core problem with processing speed/orthographic processing which affects speed and accuracy of printed world recognition (Moats & Tolman, 2019 ...

Which type of reading helps the learner to improve fluency and speed? ›

Extensive reading is important because: It helps students build vocabulary and revisit words they have learnt in class in a different context. It helps students to build reading speed and reading fluency which helps process language more automatically.

What is the most effective reading technique? ›

The best reading techniques are the SQ3R technique, skimming, scanning, active reading, detailed reading, and structure-proposition-evaluation.

How long should a 10 year old be able to read for? ›

While 15 to 20 minutes is the recommended amount of reading, it is important to note that, if your child is interested in and enjoying what she is reading, it is fine to encourage more time. However, we do not want children to become too tired.

What is Hyperlexic? ›

Hyperlexia is advanced and unexpected reading skills and abilities in children way beyond their chronological age. It is a fairly recently named condition (1967) although earlier descriptions of precocious reading do exist.

What age should a child read fluently? ›

On average, most kids are able to read independently and fluently by the end of third grade, which is around when they are 9-10 years old. Children at this age are able to read simple sentences and storybooks. By age 11-13, your child should begin to use reading as a learning tool.

How long should a 4 grader read for? ›

The goal for 4th grade students is to secure a habit of monitoring their understanding as they read, as well as breaking up more complex texts as they are reading into smaller segments. Their stamina for independent reading increases to 30-35 minutes or longer. Fourth graders write every day.

Is 20 pages an hour slow? ›

While a slow reader will only get through 30 pages per hour, the average person can read around 40 pages per hour. Statistics show that quick readers can even go through 50 or 60 pages in one hour.

How fast should a 12 year old read? ›

Average silent reading speed (1st through 12th grade)
GradeAgeAverage reading speed (wpm)
8 more rows
Nov 8, 2021

What is the fluency rate for 4th grade? ›

Fluency Standards Table
Rasinski Words Correct Per Minute Target Rates* Words Per Minute (WPM)
3 more rows

Does age affect reading speed? ›

The reduction of reading speed among adults supported the previous study that reported the maximum reading speed decreased from 200 wpm in young adults to 175 wpm in adults[13]. Reading ability was found significantly declined with age even among a group of people with good acuity[52].

What is the average American reading level? ›

Here's what we know: Half of U.S. adults can't read a book written at the 8th-grade level, according to the OECD. The average American reads at the 7th- to 8th-grade level, according to The Literacy Project.

How do you teach fluency in 4th grade? ›

To raise fluency levels, students need to practice reading in short bursts of effort, and they need to practice word attack skills that are used for frustration-level text, in which more than one out of 20 words are difficult to decode.

What are 2 fluency strategies? ›

Effective Fluency Strategies for Reading Intervention
  • Oral Cloze reading (whole group and partner) ...
  • Modeled fluent oral reading (teacher-led and audio) ...
  • Assisted reading. ...
  • Guided oral reading. ...
  • Recording of oral reading. ...
  • Repeated oral reading and timed repeated reading. ...
  • Partner reading. ...
  • Prosody development.
Jan 28, 2022

What are the 5 pillars of literacy? ›

The National Reading Panel identified five key concepts at the core of every effective reading instruction program: Phonemic Awareness, Phonics, Fluency, Vocabulary, and Comprehension.

What are the three 3 elements of reading fluency? ›

This process begins with assessments of the component pieces of fluency: prosody, accuracy, and rate.

What are the 3 indicators of fluency? ›

A full assessment of reading fluency includes consideration of the three indicators – accuracy, pacing, and prosody.

What activities improve fluency? ›

Try these fluency activities at home
  • Choose the right books. Help your child choose books that he can comfortably read. ...
  • Listen every day. ...
  • Reread favorite books. ...
  • Read to your child every day. ...
  • Family poetry jam. ...
  • Reader's theater. ...
  • Record it. ...
  • Paired or "buddy" reading.

What is the best way to teach reading fluency? ›

The best strategy for developing reading fluency is to provide your students with many opportunities to read the same passage orally several times. To do this, you should first know what to have your students read. Second, you should know how to have your students read aloud repeatedly.

What is an effective method of teaching fluency? ›

There are two general approaches to improving fluency. The direct approach involves modeling and practice with repeated reading under time pressure. The indirect approach involves encouraging children to read voluntarily in their free time.

What is a fluency passage? ›

Fluency Passages | Reading A-Z. Fluency Passages. Fluency refers to a student's speed, smoothness, and ease of oral reading. Fluent readers read more quickly and can skip decoding in favor of comprehension. In addition, fluent readers enjoy reading more than students who read haltingly.

What percentage of 4th graders read at or below proficient levels? ›

See further discussion below. Results: The data shows 67% of fourth grade students are below proficiency in reading.

What are the 4 components of reading fluency? ›

Reading fluency is the ability to read a text easily. Reading fluency actually has four parts: accuracy, speed, expression and comprehension.

What is fluency in elementary reading? ›

Fluency is defined as the ability to read with speed, accuracy, and proper expression. In order to understand what they read, children must be able to read fluently whether they are reading aloud or silently. When reading aloud, fluent readers read in phrases and add intonation appropriately.


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