Express Yourself!

Growing Independence and Fluency

Jennifer Ivey


Rationale: Reading fluency is the ability to recognize words quickly, accurately, and automatically. After a student has become fluent they need to learn how to read with expression! When children learn to read with expression, they become more of aware what is going on in their reading. Reading with expression allows students to acknowledge the fact that reading can be fun and exciting. In this lesson students will read and re-read sections of Junie B. Jones and the Stupid Smelly Bus. Students will also participate in a expression matching game. This lesson will help children practice reading with expression, this creating a better understanding of the text they are reading.


Materials: The book Junie B. Jones and the Stupid Smelly Bus by Barbara Park (copy for each child), Chart paper, Pictures of Expressions, Expression Checklists, Pencils, Notebook Paper.




1. Teaching will begin by asking students questions: Who likes someone to read to them? Students will respond “Me! I love when my mom reads to me!” Who likes it when people read with different voices and silly faces?”  Student will respond “Oh! I do!” Who knows what expression is? Students will respond, “We don’t know!” Teacher will explain, expression is when you change your voice loud or soft, facial and body moves when things happen throughout the story. Teacher will explain how this is important in reading because it helps us engage in the story and thus helping our reading comprehension.


2. After explaining what expression is, teacher will read to a few sentences from the book “Junie B. Jones and the Stupid Smelly Bus.” Is everybody ready to be a good listener? Good, Let’s Read! Book talk: Who was nervous before they came to school? Well Junie B. Jones sure was! And she was not excited to get on the stupid, smelly bus! We'll have to read and find out if she gets on the bus or not! [The teacher will read a few pages with no emotion or expression and in a monotone voice.] Does everybody like the book? Was it fun to listen? [Teacher reads story again with expression and emotion, deep voice if expressing sad or a really loud and happy voice for excited.] Did you enjoy listening to the story more the first time or the second? Why? The teacher explains to the students that when you read a story with expression and emotions it makes reading fun and enjoyable!!


3. So let’s review one more time what expression is! Explain to the children that when someone is sad they may frown or have a sad face, like this picture (show a picture of a sad face). They may also talk slower or in a deep voice. However, when someone is happy or excited they might be smiling, laughing, jumping up and down (show a picture of someone excited). Their voice may be higher and sometimes even yelling! Now, I am going to show some pictures of expression. Teacher shows smiley face and explains how this could be shown when the reader is excited or happy. Next teacher shows a sad face. She will explain how we may make this face when we are sad or angry. We will practice this by choosing which face matches the readings. The teacher will read 5 sentences and the students will choose which face goes with each. Sad face sentences: My brother just hit me! You just stepped on my toe! Smiling face sentences: I love your new shoes! Tomorrow is my birthday! If I make all A’s I get an ice cream cone! Mix these possible sentences and more if students seem to struggle with the exercise.


4. The teacher will distribute the books to the class. I want you to read the chapter 3 two times through. First, time read to yourself and then with a partner at your table. As students read with their partner they will fill out an expression checklist. This will have a few sentences from the chapter. When the student gets to this sentence in the story their partner will check whether or not they read it with the proper expression. Before reading teacher will remind the students [If we come to a word we don’t know remember to decode and crosscheck. This means we sound out our word and if it doesn’t make since in the sentences we try again!] After the students have done this we will walk through this chapter and discussing what expression you should use on each page.


5. To assess their knowledge on expression I will collect their checklists. This will allow me to see where each student is excelling and what areas need more work.




Park, B., & Brunkus, D. (1992). Junie B. Jones and the Stupid Smelly Bus. New York: Random House.

Mary Haley Byrne, Express Yourself,


Alison Stokes, Express Yourself


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