Rationale: In order for children to become better readers, they must learn to read fluently. Fluent reading includes reading faster, smoother, expressively, silently, and voluntarily. This lesson will help children to read with expression. Children will learn that changing the speed and volume of your voice affects reading.
Materials: Copies of Frog and Toad Are Friends by Arnold Lobel for each student and the teacher, five sets of cards with the numbers 1-10 written on them, copies of repeated reading checklist for each student.
1. Introduce the lesson by telling the children that there are many ways that we can become better readers. One of these ways is to read with expression in our voices. We read expressively when we change the speed and volume of our voices while we’re reading. Today we’re going to practice reading expressively.
2. Ask the students if they have ever been read to, and the person reading made the story sound really exciting because of the way they were reading. The reason we get interested in stories is because the reader makes them exciting by reading expressively.
3. Choose five students to act as a panel of judges and sit in a row with cards with the numbers 1-10 written on them. I am going to start reading Frog and Toad Are Friends. When I get done reading I want the judges to hold up a number that shows how expressive my reading was. One is the worst, and 10 is the best. Read the first page of the book very slowly (scores should be low). Explain that constantly reading slow is not expressive. Read the second page very fast (scores should be low). Explain that constantly reading very fast is not expressive. Read the third page almost at a whisper (scores should be low). Explain that constantly reading very softly is not expressive. Read another page very loudly (scores should be low). Explain that constantly reading very loudly is not expressive. Finally, read another page expressively, varying volume and speed (scores should be high). Explain that to read expressively we must change the speed and volume of our voices depending on what’s going on in the story. This makes the story exciting.
4. Pass out copies of Frog and Toad Are Friends to the whole class. This is a book the students have read before and are familiar with. Ask for volunteers to read aloud out of the book to practice reading with expression.
5. Divide the class into groups of two and have them practice reading expressively to one another. Each student will use a repeated reading checklist for his or her partner. One chapter will be read twice by each person. Remember that if you come to a word you don’t know cover-up part of the word and go from there.
6. For assessment each student will see me individually and read a section of the book. They will be shooting for a 10 in expression. The students will be scored 1-10 based on how well they read with expression. I will also look at their repeated reading checklist and comment where needed.
Reference: Adams, Marilyn Jager. Beginning to Read. 1990. pg. 88-9
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