Amy Cowhick
Growing Independence and Fluency

Express Yourself!

Rationale: Using expression while reading, books will contain more meaning and the books will be more enjoyable for children.  Children will want to read more independently and voluntarily.  This lesson will teach and encourage children to use more expressions while they are reading.

Materials: Wide range and variety of children's literature that the teacher has selected (books should be different levels, types, and contain different contents), many types of paper, drawing materials, writing materials such as markers, crayons, etc.

 1. Introduce the lesson by explaining to the children that expression is important in reading  books.  "When we talk, we use lots of expression.  When we read books, we should also  use lots of expression.  The way we express words in a sentence can change the meaning of  the sentence."  Read the sentence She gave me the paper.  Now, read the sentence with  different expressions such as excited, mad, bored, sad, etc.  "The expression we use when  we read depends on what the sentence is about, or other sentences that are in the book.  When you read, remember to think about what you are reading.  If what you have read does  not make sense, go back and reread the sentence."
 2. Call on children and give the sentence He made me do it.  Assign children with an expression such as mad, upset, happy, surprised, etc.  Have each child read the sentence with their assigned expression.
 3. Each child will choose a book he or she can read that is on their reading level and they will read the book silently.  Using materials given to them, the children will draw a picture of the emotions expressed in what they have read.
 4. Children will share pictures describing the emotions from the book.  The children will then practice reading their book to a friend, focusing on reading with expression.  Encourage friends to show their feelings and emotions.
 5. Each child will read their book to the teacher, focusing on expression.  For assessment, the teacher will give each child a sentence to read that is on their reading level.  While the  child is reading, the teacher will document all expressions made by the child.

Reference: Eldredge, J. Lloyd.  Teaching Decoding in Holistic Classrooms.  Prentice Hall, Inc.   1995, pg. 19-20.

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