Little Bear, BIG EXPRESSION!

bearexpress

 Growing Independence and Fluency

Teri Crum

 

Rational:  Fluency is a skill that is vital for students to have comprehension and to be successful readers.  Components that are associated with fluency are reading faster than the beginning stage of reading, reading with automaticity and accuracy, ability to read silently, smoothly and with expression.  Expression adds life to the story and is a very important part of reading fluency, so this lesson will be focused on reading with expression.  Through this lesson, students will learn to use expression in reading by first learning to identify when a person is reading text with expression, practice using expression when stating sentences and practicing using expression while reading a book.

Materials:  THE CAT IN THE HAT (Teacher Copy and copy for every student), dry erase board, expo markers and eraser for board, sentence strips (Teacher set and a set for every two students) with sample sentences: "Do I have to go to bed?", "I want some ice cream now!", "I will play the game with you.", "Can we go to the park?", "Get up from my chair!", "I see a rainbow.", YOU AND ME, LITTLE BEAR (one copy of text for every two students), assessment checklist for each student with these questions:

____Did student adjust voice from high to low when appropriate?

____Did student adjust voice from low to high when appropriate?

____Did student's voice adjustments indicate that he/she was recognizing the punctuation for

each sentence?

____Did student adjust voice to accommodate print indicators?

____Did student read with expression consistently throughout the book?

____Did student accept and adjust to constructive criticism given by partner and/or teacher?

Procedures: 

1)  I will explain to the students that we will learn to read with expression today.  I will tell the students that when we read with expression it makes the story come alive.  The way we use our voice to say the words – loud, soft, higher or lower, help to separate the characters when reading a story, as well as, it helps to give emotion to the character on whether they feel, happy, sad, angry, anxious, etc. I will tell them that we are going to practice first by listening for the use of expression with the book, THE CAT IN THE HAT.

2)  I will remind the students that our punctuation guides us as to how we should make our voices sound.  If there is a period then we would typically just read it as a statement – not too loud or not too soft but still use expression and have the words flow easily.  For example if the sentence is "I would like some cake." (use dry erase board, markers and eraser to write out these example sentences to show sentence while verbally demonstrating script)  then we would read it in our regular speaking voice and read it smoothly.  We would not read it like "I        WOULD            L  ike          some    CAKE."  We should read like we are having a conversation with another person just using the words from the text as our script.  Another example that I would tell them is that when we observe an exclamation mark at the end of a statement, then we should read it with firm sometimes louder voice. If the statement is "Go Away!" we would say that hard and louder than if it was ended with a period.  Remind the students that another way to know the emphasis of which words show the expression of the character is by the letter case, color and boldness of the print. (Use dry erase board, markers and markers for this)   For example, "The plate is really HOT!", "I am NOT going to the party."  "IS she coming soon?"

3)  Now, I am going to explain how to read with expression with the book, THE CAT IN THE HAT by Dr. Seuss.    Students will listen for use of expression while I read the story.  I will tell the children that I will read only the first six pages of the story first so that we can think about and discuss when I am using expression or not. These pages will allow for me to cover usage of periods, exclamation marks and question marks.  I will read a sentence at a time discussing with the students how I was not or how I was using expression.  I want to make sure that students have an understanding of reading with expression before we read the entire book.  For example, I might read, "And I said, "How I wish We had something to do!" , and read it very flatly.  Then I would say to the students, "That was sort of boring wasn"t it. I don"t think I read that with expression.  I will try again to see if I can do a better job this time with my use of expression.  I will put emphasis on certain words and read it with feeling to show how the character might say it.Now I will reread, "And I said, "How I wish We had something to do!" with much more emotion and emphasis on the words that carrying the expression about how the character is feeling.  "That was much better.  The words came alive that time and carried more meaning by the act of expression."

4)  Now I will model for you by reading the remainder of the story to you and making sure that I do my best to read with expression.  I wish for you to listen carefully and show me with thumbs up when you can tell that I am using my best effort of reading with expression to make the characters and text come alive and give me thumbs down if I begin to get relaxed and fall away from using expression and I start to read with a flat voice making it just sound like I am reading individual words and not making it sound as if the character is actually the one speaking.  Upon completing the story ask the students, "How could you tell when I was using expression?  Can you show me a sentence where you remembered me using great expression and how I did it? Can you tell me how you could tell when I wasn't reading with expression?  Can you show me in the story where it was and model how I read that sentence?  Can you tell the difference between the two ways of reading?  Which way do you think would be more appealing to a reader and the audience?"

5)  I will say, "Now that you have heard the difference between using expression in reading and not using expression, I wish for you to show me how to read these sentences with and without expression to show the class the difference.  I will do the first one and then you will get with your buddy/partner and do the rest of them in pairs." I will read from my sentence strip, "Do I have to go to bed?"  I will read it in a mild plain voice.  I will ask students if I was reading with expression or not. Allow for response time.  I will reread the sentence strip again placing emphasis on important words and using feeling while reading. I will say, "That was much better.  Reading it with expression makes the words take on feeling and more meaning.  I will hand out copies of sentence strips:  "Do I have to go to bed?", "I want some ice cream now!", "I will play the game with you.", "Can we go to the park?", "Get up from my chair!", "I see a rainbow.I will have students get with their partner/buddy to practice reading with expression and without expression.  I will then ask for volunteers to read my set of sentence strips out loud to the class.    One of the partners will read the sentence with expression and the other will read it plainly.  The class will discuss each by comparing the differences.

6)  I will tell, Now that we have not only listened to a story reading, discussed the differences of reading with expression and without expression, learned how to use punctuation marks as a guide for use of expression, and to observe the print style in the text, as well as, practiced some simple task on how to read with expression that they are going to practice reading with expression in the book, YOU AND ME, LITTLE BEAR.  I will give each buddy-reading partner group a copy of this story.  I will remind students that in our buddy reading we are knee to knee, elbow to elbow and reading quietly.  I will give my booktalk: This story about two bears, Big Bear and Little Bear.  Little Bear wishes to play with Big Bear but Big Bears has chores to complete.  Little Bear decides to help Big Bear.  Little Bear finishes his tasks but Big Bear still has work to complete.  Little Bear has to play alone until Big Bear finishes the chores.  Will Little Bear ever get to play with Big Bear?  If so what do you think they will play?  Well to find out you must read the story.  I will ask the students to first read silently to become familiar with the text and the story line.  I will challenge them to read with expression independently even though it is still a silent reading.

7)  Assessment:  Now I will have students reread the story out loud in a soft voice, so they will not disturb others in the class, to their buddy/partner.  I will tell them to read the text with expression making sure to note punctuation marks and print indicators.  I will have students alternate in reading the pages aloud.  If the students complete the book before I make it to every group I will have students reread book again swapping the order of reading so that they will read the page opposite of what they did the first time.  I will also encourage peers to give friendly reminders if a partner becomes relaxed and forgets to use expression.  I will walk around the buddy groups to listen in to the reading and use an assessment checklist to evaluate the use of expression in the reading:

____Did student adjust voice from high to low when appropriate?

____Did student adjust voice from low to high when appropriate?

____Did student's voice adjustments indicate that he/she was recognizing the

  punctuation for each sentence?

____Did student adjust voice to accommodate print indicators?

____Did student read with expression consistently throughout the book?

____Did student accept and adjust to constructive criticism given by partner and/or

  teacher?

 

References:

Dr. Seuss. THE CAT IN THE HAT.  Random House, Inc. c1957. pp.61

Waddell, Martin. YOU AND ME, LITTLE BEAR. Candlewick Press. c1996. unpaged

Saye, Maggie. Express Yourself! Odysseys, 2007.

http://www.auburn.edu/academic/education/reading_genie/odysseys/sayegf.html

 

 

Assessment Checklist:

____Did student adjust voice from high to low when appropriate?

____Did student adjust voice from low to high when appropriate?

____Did student's voice adjustments indicate that he/she was recognizing the punctuation    

   for each sentence?

____Did student adjust voice to accommodate print indicators?

____Did student read with expression consistently throughout the book?

____Did student accept and adjust to constructive criticism given by partner and/or

   teacher?

 

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