Extra, Extra Read All About It
by Chandler Chauvin
Growing Independence and Fluency

Rationale:  Reading fluency is the ability to read faster, smoother, and with expression. In order to accomplish fluency, children need to read and reread decodable texts. Reading with expression involves changing the speed, tone, or volume of your voice to better understand texts. Children need to be excited about reading. The focus of this lesson is on teaching students to read decodable text with expression. The students will learn this concept by reading an exciting play with expression.

Materials:
-Sentence strips: "Look out! The baseball is headed our way!"
                                             "Ewww! I do not want to touch those ooey, gooey worms!"
                                             "Yikes! That costume is really scary."
-Class copies of the play The Boy Who Wanted the Willies by Aaron Shepherd (http://www.aaronshep.com/rt/RTE30.html)
-Class copies of the Expression Evaluation Sheet (See below)
-Props for the play (optional)
-Expression Evaluation Sheet: 1. Person's voice changed as he/she read…….YES or NO
                                            2. Person acted like he/she was enjoying reading...YES or NO
                                            3. The way the person/group read their parts made me enjoy the play…..YES or NO

Procedure: 1. "Today, we are going to practice reading a little different than we usually do.  We are going to use expression when we read! It is very important to use expression when we read because it makes reading more fun.  Reading with expression also makes you feel like you are a part of the story.”


2. Review: "Before we learn how to read with expression, we need to review a couple of things about reading. First, we need to review what we have learned about figuring out words that we do not know right away.  Remember, we can use cover-ups, where we cover up part of a word so we can read it a little at a time. Also, we can cross-check, which means we read the rest of the sentence to see if a word makes sense."

3. "Now we can talk about how we read with expression. Reading with expression means that our voice changes a lot when we read.  Your voice can get louder, softer, higher, and lower.  When a character in a book is mad, they have a loud and stern voice. When a character is happy, they have a cheery and high voice. It is very important to read with expression because it helps you understand and enjoy what you are reading. Your audience will also enjoy listening to you more if you read with expression."

4. "I am going to show you what it means to read with expression and without expression." Show first sentence strip: "Look out! The baseball is headed our way!" (First, read the sentence to the class in a monotone voice.)  Ask the children if I sounded like I was really scared of the baseball hitting me.  Ask them what I should have done when reading that sentence?"  Good, I should have been louder and more expressive. When we read and talk with expression, it makes our words come alive. Now I'm going to read this sentence again, and I want you to see if you can tell a difference." (Read the same sentence except with a lot of expression.) "When I read the sentence that time, did you feel like you were really about to get hit by a baseball?" Now, you are all going to try to read some sentences with expression.


5. Now, have the class read the this sentence to themselves a couple of times: "Ewww! I do not want to touch those ooey gooey worms."  Then have them read the sentence aloud with a lot of expression.  Also, have them read: "Yikes! That costume is really scary."  Have the students get in pairs and make up sentences for their partners to read to them with expression.


6. "Now that you have all practiced how to read with expression, we are all going to be actors and actresses in an exciting play! What is one thing that makes a good actor/actress? Relate their answers to the importance of reading with expression.  Actors and actresses have to read their parts with expression so it will be interesting to whoever is watching them.  If the script is written to be sad, then the actor has to act and sound sad.  I am going to split you into groups of 6.  I am going to give you all copies of the play, The Boy Who Wanted the Willies. Your group needs to practice reading the play a few times with expression so that you can present it to the class."  (You may want to go ahead and have the parts assigned to the students.)  After each group presents the play, let the other students fill out the Expression Evaluation Sheet.  This will allow the students to listen to the different ways people read with expression.


7. For assessment, fill out your own Expression Evaluation Sheet as each student reads their parts of the play.  This will allow you to see what level each student is on when it comes to expressive reading.


Reference:
Meg Crow: "Expression Equals Enjoyment"
http://www.auburn.edu/rdggenie/elucid/crowgf.html

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                                                                                                   For further information, email Chauvcl@auburn.edu