Devon M. Shaw
Growing Independence and Fluency

Reading Rainbow

Rationale:  In order for children to become better readers they must learn to read fluently.  Reading fluently consists of a lot of skills including reading smoothly, reading expressively, and reading silently. This lesson is designed to help children learn to read with expression.  The children will become aware of how changing the loudness/softness of your voice affects reading.
Materials:  Dry Erase Board (big for teacher instruction), Individual small dry erase boards (for student use), dry erase markers (enough for one per student), one big book copy of Ten Hungry Monsters, age-appropriate decodable books (one for each student in the class to have) that can be read with expression)
1. Start lesson by explaining to the children that reading is a fabulous skill that we are so lucky to be able to learn.  It is terrific that we can all read books!  But, now that we are reading so well, there are still some things we can do to become even better readers.  ãOne thing we can do while reading is to read with expression.ä  ãCan anyone tell me what expression means?ä (wait for response) ãThat is right, it means making the way we read more interesting for the people who are listening to us.ä  ãSome ways of expressing our reading voice is changing how loud or soft our voice is, changing how fast we read or changing the pitch of our voice.ä  ãToday we are going to practice these different ways of expressing our reading.ä
2. Ask the students: ãHas anyone ever heard someone read a story that was really exciting because of their expressive voice?  Maybe the story was exciting because the reader used different sounds or voices when reading certain parts of the story? Or perhaps you could tell which parts of the story were happy or sad because of the way the reader was reading?ä  (Wait for response) Explain to the children that the reader may have made the story exciting because of the different reading expressions they used such as a voice change or how fast or slow the reader read the story.
3. Then take out a book such as Ten Hungry Monsters and model reading to the children without using expression and tell the children to pay attention to how it sounds.  After reading the story ask, ãDid the story sound exciting?ä  (Children respond) ãHow can I make it more exciting?ä  Make a list on the dry erase board with the children.  Let them tell the teacher/reader what expressions can be made and where in the story to make it.
4. When you are done making the list, reread Ten Hungry Monsters.  When rereading the book model how to use the expressions on the board.  When done rereading ask the children which version of the story sounded better, the first time with no expression, or the second time with all the expressions they said to use. (Children respond·discuss why they chose which version they chose)
5. When done rereading Ten Hungry Monsters, group the children into pairs.  ãWhen I put you with a partner I will give you each a book.ä  Give each group a different age appropriate book so that each group is not reading the same book.  ãI want each person to read the book that I gave you to your partner without using expression.ä  ãRemember if you have trouble reading it you can use cover-ups to figure out the word you do not know.ä  ãWhen you are done reading the book I want you and your partner to make a list on your dry erase board of the different expressions you can make and where you can make them in the story, just like we did together.ä  When the children are done making the list they then reread the book using the expressions they have on the list.
6. When they are done have each group come to the front of the class and read their book using expression.  ãEveryone needs to sit quietly to see if you can hear the expressions your classmate is making while reading their book.ä  When they are done reading they should show the class the list of reading expressions they made.  ãYou all did a wonderful job using reading expressions to make your story more exciting.ä
 Assessment:  Have a section of age appropriate books in the book center that each child can read.  Have each child get a book of their choice that they want to read.  Tell them to read it and make their own list of expressions (just like we did earlier.)  When they are done have different children come up to your desk at different times of the day (or perhaps during DEAR time) to read their book using the expressions on their list.  If the child needs help then the teacher can help him/her.  By doing this the teacher can determine if each child is learning and beginning to understand the reading expression lesson.
Reference:  Marilyn Adams, Beginning To Read; 1990

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